Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More 2008 Recruiting News for UK

Fewfirstchoice
Wildcats Thunder Basketball/Recruiting Analyst

I did some digging today and found out what is up with the recruit, I heard about yesterday. The recruit I was told about was Frease. I was today that Frease would already be commited to UK, if he was 100% sure Tubby was going to be here. But I also heard that he may go ahead and commit anyways.

He is suppose to visit tomorrow and I was told a verbal may be given. I ask that if he does visit tomorrow what chance is there that he commits. I was told that it is probably 50/50 he could commit tomorrow. I was alos told that if he does commit that a coaching change probably wouldn't scare him off since he knows whats going on.

Also I ask about Green. I was told that Green would stay commited, but would probably start to look around at other schools. It is likely he would stay commited but it would all be up to the new coach if one comes. It would be up to the new coach(if there is one) on both players. But I couldn't see why any coach would reject the commitments of these two players.

"Senior Night" Georgia vs UK Preview

BleedBlue7
Wildcats Thunder Sports Reporter


It's senior night at Rupp tomorrow night as WOO, Perry, and Thomas are being honored for their respective four year careers in the Blue and White. The University of Georgia Bulldogs will be coming to town.

The last meeting between UK and UGA, the Dawgs overcame a 16 point deficit and downed the Wildcats in Overtime in Athens The Cats will be looking for some sweet revenge and try to get back on the winning track as we have lost 4 out of our last 5 games.

According to the stat book these 2 teams seem to be quite evenly matched:

UK UGA
Overall Record: 19-9 17-10
Conference Record: 8-6 8-6
Scoring Offense: 72.8 76.5
Scoring Defense: 66.1 67.6S
Scoring Margin: +6.7 +8.9
FG%: 48% 46%
3FG%: 35% 38%
FT%: 69% 68%
Rebounds: 36.9 38.9
Rebound Margin: +3.3 +6.9
Assists Average: 16.0 15.2
TO Average: 14.9 15.9
Blocks Average: 5.1 4.9
Steals Average: 5.8 8.7

The Dawgs are led by Takais Brown who averages 14 points and 5 rebounds a game. The Cats are led by Randolph Morris who averages 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game.

The Cats are looking for some sweet revenge for the last meeting between these two SEC East teams. UK has lost 4 out of their last 5 games. While the Dawgs have won 4 out of their last 5 games.

UK is going to have to start to play the way that the University of Kentucky is known for. UK is going to have to be hitting their shots tomorrow because UGA is a pretty good shooting team. We are going to have to keep a hand in their face the whole game.

If we get a big lead, we can't let it go down the toilet like the last meeting in Athens! We are going to have to jump on them right at the tip. We can't afford to dig ourselves in a hole.

UGA is going to be an extremely tough game. We will have to show up ready to play and focused 120% or we will be in for a long night. We can't afford to lose 5 out of our last 6 games before we head to UF to face the Gators.

Go Cats!!!

Barnhart: Releases Statement Concerning UK Mens Basketball Program

Bigdaddy
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

The University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, dedided to releases a statement concerning the UK Men's Basketball Program yesterday afternoon to the "UK Fan Base" and "to numerous media inquiries about the future of UK Basketball".

Barnhart's statement: “Kentucky Basketball is important to all of us who are a part of the Big Blue Nation. I know that the fans, coaches and players are disappointed with the results of the season up to this point, but it’s important to wait until the most critical part of the season is complete before reviewing the program.

“Our fans’ lofty expectations for this program, which I share, have not changed. However, history tells us that the college basketball season can change quite a bit between February and March. If the close games we’ve lost in February become victories during the tournaments, then this team has a chance to play up to its potential, which is what all of us as Wildcat fans want.”

Read more here in these articles;
Barnhart calls UK season 'disappointing'
Barnhart asks UK fans to give March a chance
Barnhart: Wait, then decide
Barnhart responds to questions about basketball team's future
AD: Judge Cats in March, Barnhart hoping for a turnaround

SEC Freshman of the Week

Bigdaddy
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Jodie Meeks, from Norcross, Ga. a Guard for the University of Kentucky Mens Basketball team was named "SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK" for the THIRD time this season.

Earlier in the week against LSU Jodie had 18 pts off the bench and he helped lead the Wildcats to a win.

Saturday as Kentucky traveled to take on Vanderbilt Jodie started his first game as a Wildcat and had 15 pts for the game. For the week Jodie had 33 pts.

Meeks is shooting 87% from the free throw line for the season and went 5 - 6 this week from the free throw line.

Monday, February 26, 2007

2007 McDonald's All-American List

The McDaonald's All-American list has two recruits on the list that UK has put a lot time in recruiting and are hoping to sign in the spring. Those two recruits are PF-Patrick Patterson playing for the East Team and PG-Jai Lucas playing on the West Team and both players are still undecided.

The McDonald’s All-American Boys Basketball Game will be on March 28 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky. The game, which tips off at 8 p.m., will air live on ESPN.

Below is the 2007 McDonald's All-American Teams

EAST: Nick Calathes Florida, Johnny Flynn Syracuse, Austin Freeman Georgetown, Donte Greene Syracuse, JJ Hickson NC State, Kosta Koufos Ohio State, Gani Lawal Georgia Tech, OJ Mayo USC, Patrick Patterson undecided, Nolan Smith Duke, Corey Stokes Villanova, Chris Wright Georgetown;

WEST: Cole Aldrich Kansas, James Anderson Oklahoma State, Jerryd Bayless Arizona, Michael Beasley Kansas State, Eric Gordon Indiana, Blake Griffin Oklahoma, James Harden Arizona State, Taylor King Duke, Kevin Love UCLA, Jai Lucas undecided, Derrick Rose Memphis, Kyle Singler Duke

SEC MEN'S STANDINGS 2/26/07

Bigdaddy
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

EASTERN DIVISION

Florida 12-2 25-4
Vanderbilt 9-5 19-9
Tennessee 8-6 20-9
Georgia 8-6 13-3
Kentucky 8-6 19-9
South Carolina 4-10 14-13

WESTERN DIVISION

Miss. State 7-7 16-11
Ole Miss 7-7 18-10
Auburn 6-8 16-13
Alabama 6-8 19-9
Arkansas 5-9 16-12
LSU 4-10 15-13

2007 SEC Women's Basketball Tourney Schedule


The 2007 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament makes its way to The Arena at Gwinett Center in Duluth, Ga. The Womens Tournament starts Thursday, March 1, 2007 and goes to Sunday, March 4, 2007.

The winner of the Womens SEC Tournament will recieve the league's automatic bid to the 2007 Women's NCAA Tournament and will be crowned the 2007 SEC Women's Tournament Champions.

Below is the 2007 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament Time and Schedule

FIRST ROUND - Thursday, March 1
Game 1 #8 S. Carolina vs. #9 Auburn 1:00 p.m. RSN
Game 2 #7 Kentucky vs. #10 Arkansas 3:30 p.m. RSN
Game 3 #5 Ole Miss vs. #12 Alabama 7:00 p.m. RSN
Game 4 #6 Miss. State vs. #11 Florida 9:30 p.m. RSN

SECOND ROUND - Friday, March 2
Game 5 #1 Tennessee vs. G1 winner 1:00 p.m. RSN
Game 6 #2 Georgia vs. G2 winner 3:30 p.m. RSN
Game 7 #4 LSU vs. G3 winner 7:00 p.m. RSN
Game 8 #3 Vanderbilt vs. G4 winner 9:30 p.m. RSN

SEMINFINALS - Saturday, March 3
Game 9 Game 5 winner vs. Game 7 winner 6:45 p.m. RSN
Game 10 Game 6 winner vs. Game 8 winner 9:15 p.m. RSN

FINALS - Sunday, March 4
Game 11 Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner 7:30 p.m. ESPN2

NOTE:All Times Eastern And Subject To Change.
RSN - FSN South, FSN Southwest, FSN Florida

WT's Men's BBALL "Top 25" Poll (Feb.28)

Bigdaddy
Wildcats Thunder Administrator


1. Ohio St.
2. UCLA
3. Florida
4. Kansas
5. Wisconsin
6. Teaxs A&M
7. North Carolina
8. Pittsburgh
9. Memphis
10. Washington St.
11. Nevada
12. Georgetown
13. Southern Illinois
14. Oregon
15. Texas
16. Butler
17. Vanderbilt
18. Louisville
19. Oklahoma St
20. Air Force
21. Marquette
22. Virginia Tech
23. Norte Dame
24. Duke
25. Virginia

WT's Women's BBall "Top 25" Poll (Feb.28)

Bigdaddy
Wildcats Thunder Administrator


1. Duke
2. Tennessee
3. Connecticut
4. LSU
5. Ohio St.
6. North Carolina
7. Arizona St
8. Maryland
9. George Washington
10. Stanford
11. Georgia
12. Oklahoma
13. Texas A&M
14. Purdue
15. Middle Tenn. St.
16. Vanderbilt
17. Bowling Green
18. Marquette
19. California
20. Louisville
21. Rutgers
22. Wis. Green Bay
23. Baylor
24. James Madison
25. Nebraska

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Four in a Row to Vandy!

BleedBlue7
Wildcats Thunder Sports Reporter


The Cats once again blew a lead today at Vandy as the Commodores came back and didn't lead the game until 25 seconds left and won by a score of 67-65. With the victory, Vandy is now in 2nd place in the SEC East and sweeps UK for the season.

Bobby Perry had one of his best games of the season as he finished with 18 points and 6 rebounds. I was really glad to see him have a good game as his senior season winds down. He hasn't really done much for us this year and it's really food to see him have a breakout game like this. Hopefully he will continue to do it for us!

Meeks earned his first start and a Wildcat today and he proved to all of us that he deserves to stay in there! He finished with 15 points and 2 rebounds and 2 steals. He is gonna turn out to be one heck of a player for us in the coming future and I can't wait to watch him over his years at UK. Hopefully Tubby will keep him in the starting 5 because he deserves it!!!

Woo had a good game as well today. He finished with 9 points and 2 rebounds. His senior season is quickly coming to an end and it's so good to see him come off the bench and give us a good spark. He had 2 monster dunks and a sweet looking mid range jumper. I would love to see him come out on senior day and play lights out!!!

Morris... well not to much to say so lets not go there! He only finished with 4 points 6 rebounds and 3 blocks... PITIFUL! He must use Angel Soft toilet paper to wipe on, because he is "Angel Soft!" He does not like the physical aspect of the game and whenever someone does get physical with him all he does is tuck his tail between his legs and runs away from it! Tubby needs to set Morris down on the bench and start Woo to wake him up and show him that we need him and thats all I gotta say about that!

Well lets see here... We have lost 4 straight to Vandy and we are playing on the first day in the SEC Tourney for the 2nd year in a row... Way to go Tubbs!!! Put some more of those accomplishments on your resume!

Words cannot describe what I was feeling when I was watching our beloved Cats fall apart to the Commodores for the 4th time in 2 years!

Plus the worst part about it is that we have UGA and are at UF coming up to close our SEC schedule and that scares me badly right now! But hopefully a miracle will happen and we will start to play the game of basketball that the University of Kentucky is known for!

Go Cats!!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Huge opportunity for Tubby tomorrow in Nashville

Messenger
Wildcats Thunder Member

More than anything else....more, even, than the issue of national ranking....Tubby Smith's viability at UK has been hurt during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons by UK's dramatic loss of supremacy in the SEC East Division, as illustrated by five straight losses to Florida and three straight losses to Vandy. All of the important tactical momentum in the East Division is flowing against Tubby right now, including these two big losing streaks and the recruiting weaknesses illustrated by losing Lofton, Calathes, and Werner inside the Division (not to mention Pat Patterson's ongoing interest in the University of Florida).

Tomorrow, Tubby Smith has a HUGE opportunity to turn the momentum. In the wake of Vandy's big 72-67 victory in Lexington on January 20, nobody expects UK to win tomorrow in Nashville. And yet, UK actually matches up very well with Vandy, personnel-wise. UK's key players are battle-tested juniors who should be mentally ready to tackle a key road game at this point in the season. Vandy is not a large team on the baseline, so UK should be able to win the physical matchup on the low block with Randolph Morris. Tubby Smith is known as a defensive tactician. If Tubby's game plan can limit the offensive production of Derrick Byars and Shan Foster, and if UK's juniors are ready to focus for 40 minutes, then UK should have a great chance to win this game.

The winner of tomorrow's game seizes sole possession of second place in the SEC East, which has major implications for seeding in the upcoming SEC Tournament. And the SEC Tournament will go a long way toward determining whether UK is an NCAA Tournament team, and what kind of NCAA seed the Cats can earn.

So if Tubby has his team ready to play tomorrow, this is a huge opportunity for the Cats to turn around the season's momentum in dramatic fashion.

The problem is that Vandy has had an answer for everything UK has thrown at the Dores in their last three match-ups. And as Florida found out on February 17, Nashville is one of the toughest places in the SEC to play on the road.

Therefore, I think we find out tomorrow what this team and this coaching staff are really made of. This is a monumental opportunity for Tubby. Great programs and great coaches rise to the occasion in critical games like this one. And the personnel match-ups actually favor UK tomorrow. A victory in Nashville would show that Tubby's coaching career at UK still has a pulse. but a loss would be the fourth-straight to Vandy, with all of the collateral implications for UK's SEC program.

UK travels to Vandy Preview

BleedBlue7

Wildcats Thunder Sports Reporter


The Cats travel to Memorial Coliseum in Nashville to take on the Commodores of Vanderbilt. Earlier in the season, Vandy came into Rupp and handed the Cats a 72-67 loss. UK and Vandy is tied for 2nd place in the SEC Eastern Division.

In the stat book the 2 teams compare like this:

UK Vandy

Scoring: 73.1 76.7
FG%: 47% 46%
3FG%: 35% 37%
FT%:69% 71%
Rebounding: 37.2 34.0
Assists: 16.0 17.1
Turnovers: 14.7 12.9
Steals: 5.8 7.5
Blocks: 5.1 2.9

Vandy is led by Derrick Byars who averages 16 points 4 rebounds and 3 assists a game. Byars lit up the Cats earlier in the season at Rupp for 23 points with four 3 pointers and 8 rebounds.

The Cats are led by Randolph Morris who averages 15 points 7 rebounds and 2 blocks a game. Tuesday against LSU, Morris lit up the Tigers for 20 points and 10 rebounds.

In order for the Cats to escape Nashville with a win, we are going to have to play some of our best defense of the year. Vandy is a execellent perimeter team that can knock down the 3 at any given time and we have to keep a hand in their face at all times.

We need this win against Vandy very badly. The Commodores have won the last 3 meetings with the Cats and we need to put a stop to it.

SEC Tourney and March Madness is just around the corner and we need every BIG "W" that we can get. We need to prove to the selection committee that we deserve to be in the Big Dance and that we deserve a high seed!

Go Cats!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

UK Snaps 3 Game Losing Streak

BleedBlue7
Wildcats Thunder Sports Reporter



The Cats held off to beat the Tigers of LSU last night in Rupp by a final score of 70-63 as UK won its 400th game at Rupp Arena last night. UK was down by 16 in the first half but went on a big run sparked by a Technical by LSU's Coach John Brady and the Cats fought back to only be down 1 at halftime.

Randolph Morris led the Cats in scoring, rebounding and blacks as he finished with 20 points 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. He really dominated the paint last night. One could say that it was only because "Big Baby" wasn't playing or it was because Morris "had his head in the game." It looked to me that he came ready to play and it showed. He was a big factor last night and he is a huge factor to help us make a run in March. Morris also became the 53rd Kentucky player to reach a 1000 points in his UK career.

Jodie Meeks once again came off the bench and played EXCELLENT for us last night. He finished with 18 points in 27 minutes off the bench. He is going to be a phenomenal player for us in the very near future. I really would like to see him in the starting 5 to replace Perry and run a 4 guard system because he has single handily gotten us back into some games this year with his superb play!

Ramel Bradley had a good game as well. He finished with 16 points. We will need him to step up for us big time in the SEC and NCAA Tourney's. He is a great shooter and he can't hardly be stopped when he is hot!

Joe Crawford was an absolute "NO SHOW" last night as he only finished with 6 points and 4 rebounds. I really expected a ton more from him last night. Like a said with Ramel, he is a great shooter and he can't hardly be stopped when he is hot but the problem is that when we need him in the big games, he can't seem to get hot. We will really need him to step up!

We started the game playing absolutely terrible but we had enough heart to claw our way back from a 16 point deficit and cut it down to 1 by halftime and win the game!

I think that we are all glad that we didn't lose 4 straight games especially to a "Big Baby" less LSU team. Because if we have lost 4 straight then I wouldn't want to be in Lexington for a good while!

Hopefully this win will carry over and create more wins for the Cats and hopefully we will make a Championship run in the Big Dance!!!

Go Cats!!!

Monday, February 19, 2007

UK gets its FIRST 2008 Commitment

Fewfirstchoice
Wildcats Thunder Basketball/Recruiting Analyst


Draymond Green

Saginaw, MI.

6'6" 200 lbs.

Power Forward

Class of 2008

Commits to UK


I have been doing some calling and checking around on this kid from Michigan. I have found out that his correct height and weight is 6-7.5 and 220. I have only seen videos on the kid and but have heard great things about him. He is probably the #1 or 2 ranked player in the class of 08 in Mich. He averages about 25pts and 13rebs a game. He can't shoot the ball or handle it especially great but he is a great rebounder and low post scorer from what I have been told. He will be a PF for the Wildcats and Tubby, not a 3. He could see time at the 3 but his main postion will be PF, probably 90% of his time will be at the 4 if all goes how its planed.

Some say this is a sign that Miller is bound for UT but I dont think so. Miller is still 50-50 UK or UT. But it in noway means that he isnt coming to UK. I will say this is a good early commit.He will be in the top 50 before the end of his senior year next season. I can say this from what I have seen on video and heard from my sources. So with all the bad play from UK on the court this is a bit of good news off the court so smile your a UK fan.

LSU vs UK Preview

BleedBlue7
Wildcats Thunder Sports Reporter


UK returns to Rupp to face the LSU Tigers and try to break a 3 game losing streak. UK has lost to Florida, Tennessee, and Alabama all in the past week. Whereas LSU has dropped 2 straight themselves.

Both of the teams seems to be pretty evenly matched in the stat book:

UK LSU
Scoring: 73.2 68.6
FG%: 47.8 45.3
3PT%: 35.1 35.1
FT: 68.5 70.6
Rebound: 37.3 +5.4 37.7 +3.5
Assist: 16.2 14.4
Turnovers: 14.8 14.0
Blocks: 5.2 4.8
Steals: 5.9 6.8

The Tigers leader in points, rebounds, and blocks... Glen Davis is not going to play because he is suffering from a strained quad muscle that he suffered late in the Arkansas game.

The Cats are led by Randolph Morris who averages 15.6 points and 7.6 rebounds a game. Also, Joe Crawford averages 14.8 points a game.

With "Big Baby" Davis out, it should give Morris the upper hand in the paint and on the boards. But Morris will still have to play a ton better than he has been playing in order to stop the Tigers down low.

In my opinion, this is a MUST win for the Cats. This is a crucial SEC game and also a crucial NCAA game as well, the selection committee will have a BIG eye on it.

We cannot afford to lose 4 straight games at this time of the year especially in the Southeastern Conference because we need every "W" that we can get in the hardest part of the closing SEC schedule!

Go Cats!!!

The Tubby Smith Paradox

M1sk
Wildcats Thunder Sports Reporter

Rupp, Hall, Pitino, and… Smith? Obviously there is no question that he deserves to be right up there with the greats, just look at the facts. As of 2-18-06, he is a praiseworthy 259 – 79, he’s led the Cats to a national title in ’98 as well as three elite eights appearances. That above is what commentators such as Dick Vitale and Jay Bilas want you to believe. That is what Rick Majerus and Jimmy Dykes proclaim to the masses. Taken into perspective, though, these commentator legends represent a station which plays Duke games on a more frequent basis than Anna Nicole Smith’s name is mentioned on MSNBC. Trust me, that’s saying something.

They blame Kentucky fans for having “overly unrealistic expectations” and that this is a “new era in basketball” or that “every team goes through cycles.” Yet again, this is the station which proclaimed Duke as the “Yankees of Basketball” and plaster them on the front page of ESPN.com every time they defeat “upset hungry” Oral Roberts. Not trying to pick on Duke, but this goes to show you the mentality behind their “propaganda.”

The "Entertainment and Sports Programming Network" has taken little time declaring that the Duke Blue Devils are the elite program of college basketball and the rest are just imitators. Given that frame of reference, it is easy to understand how a coach like Tubby Smith can get rewarded by the ESPN crew. No, he didn’t build this program; he didn’t use his own players to win the 1998 national title. If you want to place us in the same category as the other “good but not Duke-quality schools” such as Texas, Washington and Marquette than, yes, we are doing quite well. Tubby Smith would be an elite coach.

Kentucky fans are smarter than that though. We take great pride in our basketball tradition and realize that Duke is not quite yet at “Kentucky status.” Capturing seven national titles, technically nine, and winning more games than any other team in college basketball history is mighty impressive and it appears that folks like ESPN seem to overlook those kinds of details. This is Kentucky, not Marquette, not Washington, not Texas. Until ESPN and their so called “College Basketball Analysts” and, most importantly, Mitch Barnhart realize this, expect more of the same.

UK Football "Spring Drills"

Messenger
Wildcats Thunder Member

Spring drills will give our coaching staff an opportunity to settle unresolved spots on UK's two-deep chart and experiment with the new players. The fly in the ointment is injuries, since some key players won't be able to participate in contact in April.

OFFENSE

QB- Andre Woodson is the incumbent starter, and Curtis Pulley has gone home. If Curtis comes back in the fall, he will redshirt in 2007. So Mike Hartline and Will Fidler will battle in April for the #2 QB role. Ceiling-wise, Hartline is the better prospect. But this is Fidler's second shot at spring drills, since he enrolled at UK in January, 2006. So Fidler might have an advantage. It will be interesting to see which freshman takes charge of the #2 job in April. If the staff makes a quick decision in the first half of April, it might be Fidler. But I think they will wait until August to decide, which would probably favor Hartline.

RB- Incumbent starter Rafael Little will be back, but I doubt the staff will allow Rafael to participate in four weeks of contact. Rafael broke his wrist in last year's spring drills, and then played through a series of knee and groin injuries last fall. So I suspect Rafael will be protected in one way or another in April. This means the other RBs will get more work. IMO, Alfonzo Smith has a chance to beat out Tony Dixon for the #2 job if Alfonzo can improve as a pass receiver out of the backfield. Otherwise, Dixon keeps the #2 job. This is also the time for Antoine Brown to step up and make a statement, or else get permanently buried on the depth chart when the freshmen arrive in August.

TE- Often-injured all-SEC TE Jacob Tamme's contact will again be limited this April. The #2 TE role is clearly up for grabs again, so we will see quite a bit of the three sophomore scholarship TEs (Bogue, Duncan, and Drake) plus redshirt freshman Chris Goode. Bogue and Duncan may even get looks at other OL positions. As we watch all of this play out, keep in mind that Tamme was the only UK TE to catch a pass during the 2006 season. That is an unacceptable situation in an offense that moves the football through the air. So careers are on the line this spring in UK's TE rotation. Someone has to step up, so the staff can begin to prepare for the day when Tamme graduates. It's coming.

WR- For now, the return of Keenan Burton, Richie Lyons, Demoreo Ford, Steve Johnson, and David Jones means UK's WR rotations are set. However, Jones still has some work to do with the nuances of the WR position. The staff will take a good look at redshirt freshman Terence Jones in the drills, but the rookie isn't going to beat out any of the returnees. It will be interesting to see if John Logan is still a part of this football team and, if so, whether he can push for any relevant role as a senior.

OL- Let's break it down by position:

OT- Garry Williams, Justin Jefferies, Zach Hennis, and James Alexander return. Williams will start at one OT for sure, probably at LT since that was his 2005 and 2006 position. Jefferies will miss spring drills, which creates an opportunity for Hennis and Alexander. Hennis is a forgotten man because of a shoulder injury that has kept him sidelined for two years, but he could make a quick impact if he has fully recovered from last summer's surgery. Or he could be held out of contact. We will see. Alexander has always suffered from having missed his redshirt opportunity in 2005, and that is still the case. It would be best to redshirt Alexander in 2007, but numbers might prevent that again. Anyway, whoever wins the RT job in April might have to fend off highly-regarded true freshman Stuart Hines in August.

OG- LG Christian Johnson (who might be UK's best returning offensive lineman) will participate in spring drills. Jason Leger returns at RG, but Jason will miss spring drills to rehab a shoulder. This creates an opportunity for JUCO transfer Josh Winchell. Winchell has two years to play two, so the staff would like him to get off to a quick start in April. Aside from Winchell's physical conditioning, two other questions will be answered in April: Is Sefo Blaylock still a member of this team? Is Micah Jones making progress in his comeback from a serious back injury? Big redshirt freshman walk-on Michael Williams should see plenty of action in April.

C- Since Jorge Gonzalez is rehabbing from reconstructive knee surgery, the majority of the snaps in April should go to JUCO transfer Jess Beets and returning reserve Eric Scott. Winchell may also get a look, but I expect Beets will probably gain control of the starting job fairly quickly.

DEFENSE

DE- Expect returning starters Dominick Lewis and Jeremy Jarmon to lock up the 2007 starting jobs. Jarmon is a rising star who should have a solid month of drills. Lewis provides senior leadership, plus SEC-caliber size and strength. Behind those two, there should be a scramble for back-up roles, involving Nii Adjei Oninku, JD Craigman, Josh Minton and Jamil Paris. Oninku has started games at UK, but is recovering from a leg injury and may have to miss contact work in April. Paris is a talented pass rusher who needs to get thicker and stronger to make the two-deep chart. Minton is a former four-star prospect who redshirted in 2006, and could be a big positive surprise. Craigman looks like yet another JUCO underachiever, but still has his senior year to step up and make a statement. Despite all the conflicting coach-speak on the subject, don't be surprised to see true soph Micah Johnson get some reps at DE in April. Grayshirt Chris Cessna could also get a look.

DT- Myron Pryor has one job locked up. The other starting role will be contested by Corey Peters, Ventrell Jenkins, and redshirt freshman Ricky Lumpkin. This should be one of the best competitions of the drills, with Peters having the early advantage, but with Lumpkin having the highest ceiling. Former DE Travis Day will move inside to provide quality depth.

MLB- Starter Braxton Kelley returns, and will control the position. For back-up Micah Johnson, this will be a month of experimentation to see whether he stays at MLB behind Kelley or takes a shot at the DL. Don't be surprised if redshirt soph Mikhail Mabry makes a statement in the rotation in April, especially if Micah's DL reps give Mabry a real opportunity.

SLB- In another of the drills' most interesting competitions, incumbent starter Johnny Williams faces a serious challenge from Sam Maxwell, who has been moved over from the back-up WLB job to the strong side.

WLB- All-SEC Wesley Woodyard is UK's best defensive football player. Behind Woodyard, redshirt freshman Brandon Thurmond will try to wrap up the back-up job before other competitors arrive in August. This is another position where Cessna could figure, too.

CB- Rising star Trevard Lindley has one starting job locked up. The other job will be contested among redshirted JUCO transfer AJ Grigsby and sophs EJ Adams and Paul Warford. Jordan Nevels returns to provide depth. It will be interesting to see if Shomari Moore is still a Wildcat, as some rumors have suggested Moore may be considering a transfer.

S- Starters Roger Williams and Marcus McClinton return. So will all of their principal back-ups, Ashton Cobb, Calvin Harrison, and Mike Schwindel. These guys are bracing for the arrival of true freshman burner Mychal Bailey in August. Williams is a senior now, and Cobb could use a strong performance in April to separate himself from the other back-ups and move into the heir-apparent position as Williams' understudy.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Punter Tim Masthay and placekicker Lones Seiber return. However, both incumbent kickers are in danger of losing their jobs in August to true freshman Ryan Tydlacka, so they will be trying hard to improve their technique and impress Coach Ortmayer in April. Although Little and Burton will return in 2007, the staff will take a look at a number of kick return alternatives in April, including Richie Lyons, David Jones, Demoreo Ford, and possibly Paul Warford and Alfonzo Smith. Lyons is a very dangerous and effective kick returner, and I think his role may increase in 2007 as the staff tries to protect Little.

UK falls to Alabama

Bigdaddy
Wildcats Thunder Adminsitrator



Cats fall to Tide 72-61, suffering their first lost to a Western Divison team this year.

Alabama jumps out on UK from the tip-off and SLAMDUNKS UK before the game is even started. UK went over four mins before scoring on a break away steal and a dunk by Ramon Harris, a Forward that joined the UK team mid way through the season. However, it would be another 5 mins before the Cats would score again.

With comments from Morris saying, "His head wasn't in the game at tip-off despite the importance of the contest". No wonder he had two turnovers and two missed shots before the first media timeout.

Morris wasn't alone, the whole team and coaching staff was in daze or as some would say "UK had that DEER caught in the headlights look." The Cats made a comeback again falling short of taking the lead and losing to a Alabama team on the road. UK is now on a three game losing streak and winless against RANKED TEAMS. And the way things are looking come SEC Tourny Time, UK will be at least a four seed and playing on Thursday again for the second straight year in a row.

The Cats must come ready to play from the "GET GO" and "NOT WAIT TIL the SECOND HALF", from here on out the rest of the season or the Cats maybe staying home and watching the NIT and the NCAA on TV. Which wouldn't be fun.

UK Lady Hoops WIN Senior Day

Bigdaddy
Wildcats Thunder Administrator



Say Good-Bye to UK's Three Lady Senior's

Jenny Pfeiffer Made her 29th career start, and her first start since her sophomore season. Scored 14 points, all in the first half for her 10th double-figure point total of the season. Has hit multiple threes in 11 games.


Quote after UK/Ark. game:
“I cried behind the scenes when I saw Humphrey and Alcius go out. I got it out before I came out. The emotion today was very high and for me it has been such a long journey after breaking my hand and getting sick.”







Nastassia Alcius Made her eighth career start, and her first since the Florida game on Feb. 5, 2006. Scored seven points, and dished out three assists in 18 minutes of action.

Quote after UK/Ark. game:
“Sometimes things don’t go your way but today they did. We have to get fast starts in the future. The SEC has too many good teams and we have to play well.”









Jennifer Humphrey Set a school record for most games played in a career with 123. Recorded her 14th career double-double and sixth on the season, scoring 16 points and bringing down 16 rebounds. Brought down double-figure rebounds for the 15th time this season and 35th time in her career.

Quote after UK/Ark. game:
“To have any chance for the postseason we have to play well and win. We have a couple of days off and we need the rest. Hopefully we can come back and play Florida hard. We have to believe we can take care of our business.”




Kentucky improves to 17-11, 6-7 in the Southeastern Conference, while Arkansas drops to 18-10, 3-9 in conference play. UK Lady Cats win 87-60 in Rupp Arena.

The 27-point victory marked Kentucky’s largest in conference play this season. This was the first time the Wildcats had defeated an SEC opponent by 20 or more points since senior day last season against Alabama when the Wildcats won 80-60.

The attendance of 7,128 was the largest crowd to see a UK Hoops game at Rupp Arena this season and second highest overall. This was the first time that the Wildcats and Lady ‘Backs have met in Rupp Arena.

Kentucky returns to action next Sunday when it travels to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the Florida Gators. Tip-off at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center is set for 3 p.m and the game will be carried live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price

SEC Standings 2/19/07

East

Florida 11-1 24-3
Vanderbilt 8-4 18-8
Georgia 7-5 16-9
Kentucky 7-5 18-8
Tennessee 6-6 18-9
South Carolina 3-9 13-12

West

Mississippi 6-6 17-9
Alabama 6-6 19-7
Mississippi St. 6-6 15-10
Arkansas 5-7 16-10
Auburn 4-8 14-13
LSU 3-9 14-12

SEC GAMES WEEK OF 2/19/07

Feb. 20 (Tuesday)
*LSU at Kentucky ESPN 9:00 p.m. ET

Feb. 21 (Wednesday)
*Arkansas at Auburn 7:00 p.m. CT
*Georgia at Ole Miss 7:00 p.m. CT
*Vanderbilt at Mississippi State 7:00 p.m. CT
*South Carolina at Florida LFS 8:00 p.m. ET
*Alabama at Tennessee LFS 8:00 p.m. ET

Feb. 24 (Saturday)
*Tennessee at Arkansas LFS Noon CT
*Mississippi State at Georgia LFS 1:00 p.m. ET
*Florida at LSU CBS 3:00 p.m. CT
*Auburn at Alabama FSN/SUN 4:00 p.m. CT
*Ole Miss at South Carolina FSN/SUN 7:00 p.m. ET

Feb. 25 (Sunday)
*Kentucky at Vanderbilt LFS 1:00 p.m. CT

WT's Men's BBALL "Top 25" Poll (Feb.19)

Bigdaddy
Wildcats Thunder Administrator


1. Ohio St.
2. Wisconsin
3. North Carolina
4. UCLA
5. Florida
6. Teaxs A&M
7. Pittsburgh
8. Kansas
9. Memphis
10. Washington St.
11. Nevada
12. Air Force
13. Georgetown
14. Oregon
15. Oklahoma St
16. Butler
17. Southern Illinois
18. Vanderbilt
19. Marquette
20. Alabama
21. West Virginia
22. Texas
23. Arizona
24. Indiana
25. Virginia Tech

WT's Women's BBall "Top 25" Poll (Feb.19)

Bigdaddy
Wildcats Thunder Administrator


1. Duke
2. Tennessee
3. North Carolina
4. Connecticut
5. LSU
6. Ohio St.
7. Arizona St
8. Maryland
9. George Washington
10. Stanford
11. Georgia
12. Vanderbilt
13. Bowling Green
14. Oklahoma
15. Texas A&M
16. Purdue
17. Middle Tenn. St.
18. Marquette
19. California
20. Baylor
21. Louisville
22. Rutgers
23. Wis. Green Bay
24. James Madison
25. Nebraska

Friday, February 16, 2007

UK vs Alabama Preview

BleedBlue7
Wildcats Thunder Sports Reporter


UK heads to Tuscaloosa tomorrow to face the Alabama Crimson Tide in Coleman Coliseum. The Cats (18-7, 7-4 SEC) looks to remain unbeaten against teams from the SEC West.

On paper the Cats seems to have a little bit of an advantage over the Tide:

UK UA
Scoring: 73.7 Scoring: 74.6
FG%: 48% FG%: 46%
3FG%: 35% 3FG%: 31%
FT%: 68% FT%: 71%
Rebounds: 37.5 +3.6 Rebounds: 39.0 +4.7
Assists: 16.2 Assists: 13.5
TO: 14.7 TO: 13.2
Blocks: 5.2 Blocks: 5.5
Steals: 5.8 Steals: 5.3

Bama is led by Ronald Steele who averages 9.9 points and 3.7 assists a game, and by Richard Hendrix who averages 15 points and 8.9 rebounds a game. The Cats are led by Randolph Morris who averages 15.6 points and 7.6 rebounds a game, and by Joe Crawford who averages 14.7 points and 4.1 rebounds a game.

Randolph Morris is going to have his hands full in the paint with both Hendrix and Davidson. They are going to be physical and rough with Morris and he is going to have to step up. Ramel Bradley is going to be in a battle with Ronald Steele in the backcourt also.

The Cats can't afford to have another let down like in Knoxville on Tuesday against the Vols. We are going to have to be ready and focused 120% in order to beat the Tide.

We can't afford to lose 3 straight. We have to come out ready to play and play our game in another gear because the Tide will not roll over. It's going to be a hard fought game and the team that plays the smartest will win!

Go Cats!!!

SEC STANDINGS 2/16/07

Bigdaddy
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Eastern Division
Florida 11-0 24-2
Vanderbilt 7-4 17-8
Kentucky 7-4 18-7
Tennessee 6-5 18-8
Georgia 6-5 15-9
South Carolina 2-9 12-12

Western Division
Ole Miss 6-5 17-8
Alabama 5-6 18-7
Mississippi State 5-6 14-10
Arkansas 4-7 15-10
Auburn 4-7 14-12
LSU 3-8 14-11