Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Big Big day for UK Recruiting....But not done just!

Fewfirstchoice
Wildcats Thunder Administrator Basketball/Recruiting Anlyst

I know UK has had a big day on the recruiting front, but don't hold your breath just yet. I'm hearing more is coming and coming soon.We all know that Zollo will probably commit to UK next week. But Zollo isn't who I'm talking about.

Look for 2 more 2010 class recruits to commit to UK in the next month and maybe sooner.Also there could be a 2009 recruit commit in the next 2 weeks also. I know there has been a lot of talk going around about Evan Anderson and UK, and it does hold water. I have been told that Anderson is very, very close to committing to UK and could do so as soon as this weekend. He and Euton are great friends and play on the same AAU team this summer. Anderson is also friends with the newest commit Ferguson. Zollo and he also know each other pretty good. He wants to play on a team that has a chance to win and he believes UK is his best option.His family really wants him to go to Wisconsin, but I was told his heart is in UK. Something like the Harrellson situation. So with everything I have heard I believe he will commit to UK before the end of May and maybe, hopefully this weekend or the first part of next week. So maybe UK could get both Zollo and Anderson to commit on the same day or close together.

The other name I have heard is Jereme Richmond. He is a top 5 kid for Illinois. He plays 2G and would make a huge impact at UK, if he comes. But the big hang up here is that he is committed to Illinois and you know Coach G doesn't recruit committed players. But I have been told that he is very close to decommitting or may very well have decommitted this week. Not sure if he is decommitted yet, but I know he is looking in that direction. It is rumored that if he decommitted UK will be his likely destination. You see Webster(assistant at UK) is very close to he and his family. In fact Webster is the reason he committed to Illinois. So now that Webster is at UK it would only make sense that he follows his friend. So if he does indeed decommits, look for a UK commitment shortly after.

Then theres JT Terrell another 2G along with Chad Jackson. Now Anderson, Terrell, and Zollo have offers. Richmond will have one as soon as he decommits. The only player without one is Jackson. So from what I have heard Anderson and Richmond are the 2 players most likely to commit. But if it is found out that Richmond isn't going to decommit his offer will go to Jackson then it becomes a first to commit between Terrell and Jackson. Jackson will jump on a offer as soon as he is offered from what I have heard. I know UK could have as many as 7 schollys so why will it be first come first serve. Because Billy G will look to take 2 guards on Ross-Miller and one of these maybe the other. The rest will go for the players that he loves, the 6-7/6-8 type slasher forwards.

So lets hope next week or weeks only adds to what was a great day for UK fans today. Lets hope Billy G keeps up the great work and lands some more studs.

For more info and details click here.

RECRUITING FOR KNUCKLEHEADS!

AMH
Wildcats Thunder Administrator Basketball/Recruiting Analyst

While I'm a proponent of free speech, I don't support inane and salacious remarks directed towards the coaching staff.

I've seen Billy bashed all ways to Sunday, for "missing" on guys like Majok, Hopson, etc., but let's look at it like a reasonable person; instead of a complete jackass.

Clyde and crew were lucky to "get in" with the recruits that they have this late in the process. He's been on the job for how long? When he arrived, it was to get some folks in that we needed for last year...Don't penalize the staff for having to unwind the tangled recruiting MESS left behind by OTS and his band of fair weather lack-clusters!

When coaches "get in" with a kid it's generally very early - as seen by Billy landing dudes like Euton, etc. They made an effort early in the kids basketball development to build a relationship and make an offer for the future. Did Clyde recruit Hopson etal when they were freshmen or sophomores? Did he attend these guys AAU games or regular season matchups? No you say? Then what would we be holding them accountable for?

It's grossly irresponsible and malicious to the program as a whole to bash it for something that isn't their fault. With Clydes work ethic and attitude towards recruiting, it's safe to say that we would have been in with quite a few elite prospects if he was afforded the time to build over a period of years rather than a year. Isn't that a fair statement? I think it is.

I always loved it here because regardless of the free flowing thought, there wasn't a lot of humiliating pissy pants posters. I hate the LOD approach to the program that festered for years and spread like cancer throughout Kentucky forums.

Let Clyde and the staff work on these freshmen and sophomores etc and watch what transpires. They deserve the opportunity to fulfill realistic expectations. As time goes on, the fruits of their labor will show.

In all due respect I think he does a tremendous job getting the UK brand out all over the country. I cannot remember a time when we were after so many damned players at one time. Count your blessings people.

To keep you focused...

"Greed is sin-and contrary to the character of God" Mark 7:22

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall". Proverbs 16:18

For more details and discussion click here.

Four Cats Drafted Three Free-Agents

The University of Kentucky had four football players drafted in 2008 NFL Draft and three signed as Free-Agents. With the Cats going this late and signing as Free-Agents hopefully they will show the other teams that over looked them the mistake they made by don't selecting them.

  • TE Jacob Tamme, fourth round by the Indianapolis Colts (127th overall)
  • WR Keenan Burton, fourth round by the St. Louis Rams (128th overall)
  • QB Andre' Woodson, sixth round by the New York Giants (198th overall)
  • WR Steve Johnson, seventh round by the Buffalo Bills (224th overall)
  • Center Eric Scott, signed free-agent contracts with the Tennessee Titans
  • RB/Kick Returner Rafael Little, Titans signed free-agent contracts with the Tennessee Titans
  • Linebacker Wesley Woodyard, has signed a free-agent deal with the Denver Broncos.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

NFL Draft Rd 4: UK's Tamme & Burton Drafted


Jacob Tamme(left) Drafted in the 4th Round at # 127 of the NFL Draft by the Colts.

Keenan Burton
(right) Drafted in the 4the Round at # 128 of the NFL Draft by the Rams.



"WHO's NEXT" of the UK players to go in the 2008 NFL Draft?

  • Steve Johnson, WR
  • Dominic Lewis, DE
  • Rafael Little, RB
  • Eric Scott, C
  • Roger Williams, SS
  • Wesley Woodyard, LB
  • Andre Woodson, QB

Friday, April 25, 2008

UK Baseball: Cowgill and Carroll named for Awards

Collin Cowgill(Profile) pictured left a University of Kentucky junior outfielder was named Southeastern Conference Baseball Player of the Week. Cowgill is third in the league in batting average (.399), second in runs (57), third in slugging percentage (.818), third in on-base percentage (.524), second in home runs (15), fourth in RBIs (45) and fifth in stolen bases (16). Cowgill, a 5-foot-9 195-pounder, also recently was named a National Strength and Conditioning Association All-American.

Collin Cowgill along with UK teammate Sawyer Carroll (Profile) pictured right has also been named to the Dick Howser Trophy Watch List, the award is given annually to the top player in college baseball, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Around the SEC Links-4/25/08

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gillispie....A Recruiting Whirlwind!

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Wow, what a difference from previous years on the recruiting front! If anyone ever doubted Gillispie's commitment to recruiting 24/7....that doubt has been more than answered. Folks, I've followed UK recruiting for a long time and frankly I'm hard pressed to ever remember this much activity on the recruiting front at UK. Recruits come in and out of Lexington......names keep popping up on BCG's radar......and UK fans feel like they are at a tennis match with their heads almost spinning to keep up with the action.

Majok, Flemings, Harrellson, McCoy, Kecman, Jones, Sutton, are recruits that have been prominently mentioned as serious recruits for UK.....but, Billy keeps coming up with new names, so it's still a puzzle as to who finally signs with UK.

In addition, other questions loom on the horizon....Will Williams and Jasper transfer....will anyone else transfer?

At this point, it is simply impossible to see what UK's 2008/09 roster will finally look like, but we should know a lot more in the next 2-3 weeks.

Get'er done Billy

Gillispie and Recruiting!

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

I have noted that a few fans are expressing frustration with UK recruiting thus far under BCG. I understand that frustration because we all want to see UK grab the best recruits and return to an elite team ASAP! However, it's extremely important that UK fans be fair and realistic as to UK recruiting in 08.

First, and most important, UK has a coach in Billy Gillispie who is relentless in his pursuit of talent for UK.....he was known as a tireless recruiter and that has proven true in the year Billy has been at UK. Billy, knows as we all do, that UK's future success and his own success at UK depends on vastly improved talent on the UK roster.

Importantly, we must all remember the emphasis that Billy has put on establishing early relationships with recruits as being a top priority and a key to success on the recruiting trail. We have already seen Billy establishing solid relationships with recruits in the 2009/2010/2011 and even 2012 recruiting classes.

Now as to this year, Billy arrival at UK a just year ago put him behind in 2008 recruiting..... as many of these recruits had already committed to other schools or had already established solid relationships with other coaches. Hence, BCG has had to look to JUCO's to help address key roster talent needs. Billy has made it clear that he knows UK is in great need of a significant boost in overall talent on the UK roster and he is working his butt off to make that happen!

It's exceedingly important as UK fans to recognize that we simply don't always know which recruits are Billy's top targets. There have been a host of recruit names pop up that suggest that UK was pursuing, but showing interest in a recruit and actually offering a scholarship or two different things. Now, some fans are upset because recruits visit UK and don't immediately commit. We must remember that just because a recruit visited UK doesn't mean he has been actually been offered a scholarship. BCG has made it clear that while talent is important, the recruits he wants on the roster must have a positive attitude, a good work ethic and be tough minded along with their talent. Some recruits that visit UK, while talented, don't always meet that criteria. So when we hear that recruit A had a good visit and then committed elsewhere....it could be that he never had an actual scholarship offer from UK. Billy, himself, has stated that UK fans know about 10% of what UK is really doing on the recruiting trail.

It's also important for all of us, as UK fans, to remember that times have greatly changed in recruiting. First, there are a greater number of aggressive younger coaches on the recruiting trail. Secondly, while UK's great tradition, great facilities and great fan support are still a big plus in selling UK......it's not as important as in years past. Recruits put great emphasis on how they relate to the coaching staff, the style of play and their opportunities to get lots of early playing time. Thirdly, lots of schools now get TV exposure on ESPN. Obviously, other factors are also important in the recruits decision making such as location of the school, how the recruit relates to the players and increasingly the influence of their high school and AAU coaches.

Importantly, unlike UK's previous coach, Billy understands that just because we are Kentucky is not enough to sell recruits in today's world of college basketball......instead you have to work your butt off on the recruiting trail 24/7.....and that is exactly what BCG and his staff are doing!

Now as to the UK roster for next year. Importantly, it's still a work in progress and possible transfers and new commitments could still change the roster significantly.

Most UK fans have understood that it would take Billy 2-3 years to get the talented roster that UK deserves and needs to be an elite team again. This year Billy is doing his best to upgrade the roster, but he would prefer to not use JUCO's.....he's doing so because BCG hates to lose.....he wants UK to be much more competitive next year. BCG wants to restore UK greatness ASAP as we all do. But, as UK fans, we need to stand behind Billy 100%.....trust Billy.....he will succeed. We have our coach.....he has the passion for excellence as all UK fans do when it comes to our beloved UK Wildcats! UK will once again reach the promise land, but we all must give Billy the necessary time and full support to make that happen!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

UK's 2008 Hall of Fame Inductees

The University of Kentucky has announced six inductees for the 2008 Athletics Hall of Fame Class. Inductees are Men's golfer Johnny Owens(1947-50); Football player Al Bruno(1948-50); Men's basketball player and Athletics Director C.M. Newton(1949-51; AD 1989-2000); Track Athlete Tim Harden; Men's basketball player Tony Delk(1993-96); Women's Diver Tina Johnson(1994-96)

  • Owens (1947-50) was considered one of the nation's best amateur golfers for more than half a century. He capped his UK career by the winning the Southeastern Conference championship his senior year (1950).
  • Bruno (1948-50), who caught 38 passes for 589 yards and 10 touchdowns in 1950, huge numbers for that era, was a third-team All-America by both AP and UPI
  • Newton (1949-51; AD 1989-2000) oversaw the upgrading of several facilities, the addition of three varsity sports, and tremendous growth in revenues during his decade-plus as UK's Athletics Director.
  • Harden (1993-96) was a three-time NCAA dash champion who won the national indoor 55-meter title in 1995 and 1996 and added the outdoor 100-meter national championship in 1995.
  • Delk (1993-96) was the Most Outstanding Player of the 1996 NCAA Final Four and the Midwest Regional in leading UK to the national championship.
  • Johnson (1994-96) was an eight-time All-America diver, winning the honor in one-meter, three-meter and platform diving.
The UK Hall of Fame was started in 2005 to honor former UK athletics and 88 of those members have had their jerseys retired by UK. A former UK player must wait 5 years after leaving UK in order to be eligible for the Hall of Fame and must wait 10 years to have their jersey retired and they must be a member of the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame committee which is consisted of Hall of Famers, media, campus representatives, current UK coaches and administrators meet and elect new inductees each year.

UK's 2008 CATSPY Awards Winners

The University of Kentucky Athletics Association held its sixth-annual CATSPY Awards Monday at Memorial Coliseum and presented 25 honors which recognized athletics and academic performance during the 2007-08 year. there was a few co-winners in some categories, a total of seven teams and 25 individuals were recognized. Co-host of the event was Jay Crawford of ESPN and Christi Thomas of WKYT. The Past CATSPY Awards winners and Photos of the 2008 Winners.

A complete list of awards is below:

Female Rookie of the Year
Megan Broderick, Tennis

Male Rookie of the Year
Patrick Patterson, Basketball

Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Beth Felts, Golf
Chelsea Chowning, Basketball

Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Collin Cowgill, Baseball
Jacob Tamme, Football

Supporting Role
Ashley Dimkich, Softball

Female Performance of the Year
Kari Retrum, Diving

Male Performance of the Year
Thomas Csenge, Rifle

Female Community Service Award
Crissy Cannon, Gymnastics

Male Community Service Award
John Richardson, Track

Female Play of the Year
Volleyball vs. LSU
Gymnastics vs. Arizona

Male Play of the Year
Football vs. LSU
Bruno Agostinelli, Tennis

Character Award
Andrew Albers, Baseball

Lifetime Achievement Award
John Cropp, Associate Director of Athletics

Blue Heart Award
Rafael Little, Football

Female Team Coach of the Year
Gary Conelly, Swimming

Male Team Coach of the Year
Rich Brooks, Football

Bill Keightley “Assist Award”
Zach Murphy, Men’s Basketball Manager
Will Herschelman, Men’s Basketball Manager

Scratch Award (non-scholarship athlete)
Mark Coury, Men’s Basketball

K-Association Female Athlete of the Year
Jennifer Pason, Rifle

K-Association Male Athlete of the Year
André Woodson, Football

Female Academic Team of the Year
Soccer

Male Academic Team of the Year
Soccer

Miss Wildcat
Crissy Cannon, Gymnastics

Mr. Wildcat
Wesley Woodyard, Football
Jacob Tamme, Football

Female Team of the Year
Tennis

Male Team of the Year
Football


Monday, April 21, 2008

UK CATSPY Awards

The University of Kentucky will host their sixth-annual CATSPY Awards, celebrating the 2007-08 athletics year at the University of Kentucky, will be held Monday, April 21, 2008 at Memorial Coliseum at 8:00 p.m. the public is invited. Tickets cost $5 each and may be purchased in advance at the UK Athletics Ticket Office (Joe Craft Center) or by calling 800-928-2287. All persons must have a ticket to enter, regardless of age. One can view a lists of previous CATSPYs award winners and the photo galleries from the past at UKathletics.com.

The list of awards includes:

  • Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
  • Academic Team of the Year
  • Fifth Third Community Service Award
  • Blue Heart Award
  • Character Award
  • Bill Keightley "Assist" Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Male and Female Scratch Award
  • Supporting Role Award
  • "One Shining Moment" Award
  • Men's Team Coach of the Year
  • Women's Team Coach of the Year
  • Mr. and Miss Wildcat
  • Male and Female Play of the Year
  • Male and Female Rookie of the Year
  • Male and Female Performance of the Year
  • K-Association Male and Female Athlete of the Year
  • Male and Female Team of the Year

Couple of thoughts from the Derby Classic

Kygoff
Wildcats Thunder Senior Moderator

I was real surprised with Maurice Sutton. He ran the floor real well, and hustled on every play, even went to the floor a couple of times chasing the ball. Hit hit a couple of 10-15 ft jumpshots, and was surprising mobile around the rim. I know he caused a turnover for the other team, and he had a couple of blocks as well.

Paul McCoy was a great defender that seemed to bother his man a couple of times. Played under control and hit a three and went to the hole as well. He also had some nice passes.

Ater Majok was as advertised. I had no idea he had such a good handle with the ball and nice hands as well. I also was surprised he could shoot the 3 ball. Good rebounder and shot blocker also. He and Sutton IMO will fit in well with Gillispie's offense.

Darius Miller played within himself and had a couple of awesome acrobatic moves around the rim. Also had a nice fade-away in the paint.

DeAndre Liggins had some great passes, but some we're a little careless. He would have had more assists but his man missed in close and one got called back from a Majok goaltend. But he didn't hestitate to shoot and really saw the floor well. He is very smooth and fluid with the ball.

Zeller had a nice game, but he was a black hole. If he got the ball, no one else touched it. And #10 I believe it was Drew had a rash of turnovers that let the Gold team back into it.

Pretty entertaining game, and the Black team won. Yay!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

UK's 2008 Spring Blue/White Football Roster

In the spirit of the 2008 NFL Draft , Coach Brooks decided to mix up things and create a 2008 Draft for the Blue/White game that will be played Saturday at 1 p.m. at Commonwealth Stadium.

Each teams roster is listed below. Kickers, punters, and long snappers will play for both teams.

Blue Team
White Team
Coaches:
Joker Phillips, Jimmy Heggins,
Chuck Smith,Chris Thurmond,
Dontae Wright

Offensive Line:
Billy Joe Murphy, Dustin Luck,
Jorge Gonzalez, Michael Williams,
Stuart Hines, Justin Jeffries,
Marcus Davis, ChristianJohnson,
Garry Williams

Tight Ends:
Ross Bogue, André Henderson

Wide Receivers:
Anthony Mosley, Jayce Long,
Kyrus Lanxter,Chris Wraley,
Nik Brazley

Quarterbacks:
Mike Hartline, Tyler Sargent

Running Backs:
Alfonso Smith, Trey Bowland,
A. J. Nance,Matt Ramsey

Defensive Line:
Antwane Glenn, Shane McCord,
B. J. Wiedemann, Corey Peters,
Josh Minton, Jeremy Jarmon

Linebackers:
Micah Johnson, Antonio Thomas, Johnny Williams, Braxton Kelley,
Brian Murphy

Defensive Backs:
Marcus McClinton, Randall Burden, A. J. Grigsby, Ashton Cobb,
Robbie McAtee,
Daryl Faulkner, David Jones
Coaches:
Steve Brown, Larry Brinson,
SteveOrtmayer, Rick Petri,
Randy Sanders

Offensive Line:
Phillip Hibbard, Jake Lanefski,
JoshWinchell,JamesAlexander,
ZippDuncan, Jess Beets,
Brad Durham

Tight Ends:
T. C. Drake, Tyler Sexton

Wide Receivers:
Dicky Lyons, E. J. Adams,
TerrenceJones, Clark Williams,
Ken Vereen,Anthony Cecil

Quarterbacks:
Will Fidler, Curtis Pulley

Running Backs:
Derrick Locke, Moncell Allen,
JohnConner, Stephen Ball

Defensive Line:
Greg Meisner, Joe Scott, Luke
McDermott, Chris Goode,
AustinMoss, Ventrell Jenkins,
Myron Pryor

Linebackers:
Michael Schwindel, Chris Cessna,Mikhail Mabry,
Ronnie Sneed,
SamMaxwell, Jacob Dufrene

Defensive Backs:
Taiedo Smith, Matt Lentz, Greg Wilson, Shomari Moore,
Trevard Lindley, Paul Warford

Players who will not participate because of injury: WR DeMoreo Ford, TB Tony Dixon, FS Jordan Nevels, FS Calvin Harrison, TE Maurice Grinter, DT Ricky Lumpkin, LB Brandon Thurmond, WR Jonathan Gholson, DT Charles Mustafaa, K Colin Jones, DE Nii Adjei Oninku

Also on a side note the Season Ticket Renewal Deadline is April 30; Tickets can be Renewed at the Blue/White Game or on line at ukathletics.com or in-person at the Joe Craft Center(UK Athletics Ticket Office), or by mail. Fans can also bring their season-ticket renewals to the Blue/White Spring Game. UK ticket-office personnel will be available to accept renewals from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the ticket booth outside Gate 4 of the stadium. The final deadline for renewal of the 2008 Kentucky football season tickets is Wed., April 30.

2008 UK Senior Barnstorming Tour

UK seniors Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley will begin their Senior Barnstorming Tour for the 2008 year on April 18, 2008 at Christian Co. High School in Hopkinsville, Ky and look to finish it on May 10, 2008 at North Bullitt High School in Shepherdsville, Ky. For more details on the events and other former Wildcats that is scheduled to be at each location check out Kentucky Sports Radio and Kentucky Barn Storming Tour. Below is the dates that the Seniors will be appearing at certain high schools. If you live in the areas listed try to get out and Thank Joe and Ramel for their hard work on and off the court while at UK.

  • April 18 — Christian County High School, Hopkinsville, Kentucky
  • April 23 — Perry County Central High School, Hazard, Kentucky
  • April 24 — Paducah Tilghman High School, Paducah, Kentucky
  • April 26 — East Jessamine High School, Nicholasville, Kentucky
  • April 30 — Allen County High School, Scottsville, Kentucky
  • May 1 — Boyd County Middle School, Ashland, Kentucky
  • May 2 — Scott High School, Florence, Kentucky
  • May 3 — Knox Central High School, Barbourville, Kentucky
  • May 9 — Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • May 10 — North Bullitt High School, Shepherdsville, Kentucky

2008 Derby Festival Streamfeed and Roster

Wazoo Sports, Inc. has announced they plan to broadcast the 2008 Adidas Derby Festival Basketball Classic LIVE from Louisville’s Freedom Hall, Saturday, April 19th at 7:00 p.m. Joe Burchell and Jeff Shepherd will provide the play-by-play and color analysis for the game.

Below is a listing of players (and college choice) for this year’s Adidas Derby Festival Basketball Classic.

BLACK TEAM
GOLD TEAM
6’ 5” DeAndre Liggins (Kentucky)
6’ 6” Darrius Miller (Kentucky)
6’ 10” Maurice Sutton (Undecided)*
5’ 11” Larry Drew (North Carolina)
5’ 11” Korie Luscious (Michigan State)
6’ 0” Paul McCoy (Undecided)*
6’ 5” Travis Releford (Kansas)
6’ 2” Jerime Anderson (UCLA)
6’ 8” Chris Singleton (Florida State)
6’ 9” Howard Thompkins (Georgia)
6’ 10” Ater Majok (Undecided)*
6’ 10” Tyler Zeller (North Carolina)
6’ 7” Jared Swopshire (Louisville)
6’ 10” Terrance Jennings (Louisville)
6’ 1” Dashan Harris (Texas A&M)
5’ 11” Terrell Holloway (Indiana)
6’ 2” Mike Rosario (Rutgers)
6’ 5” Ray Shipman (Florida)
6' 8” Luke Babbitt (Nevada)
6’ 9” Yancy Gates (Cincinnati)
6’ 6” Emmanuel Negedu (Arizona)
6’ 10” Jeff Withey (Arizona)
6’ 10” Kenneth Kadji (Florida)
COACHES
COACHES
Chris O’Hearn, Mason County, Maysville, Ky.;
Ed Smith, Australia
Mark Lieberman, Monsignor Edward Pace,
Opal Locka, Florida;
Don Showalter, Mid-Praire, Wellman, Iowa

NOTE: * Recruits that UK is hoping to sign during the 2008 spring signing period from April 16-May 21, 2008.

Kentucky Baseball to host Florida

The University of Kentucky baseball team which is ranked #17, is riding a 22-1 home record for the 2008 season. UK looks to add to the home record as they prepare to play #24 Florida in a three game set starting Friday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium, game time is set for 6:30 pm. Kentucky is 28-8,(7-8 SEC) while Florida is 24-13,(9-6 SEC). For the weekend UK has several activities scheduled, Saturday's game will have first-year Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie to throw out the first pitch. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and play on some of the inflatable games, down the third-base line. Also for Sunday fans can enjoy Ice Cream Sundaes during the game, served in a collectable mini batting helmet. Tickets will be $5 for Adults general admission, while Kids/Seniors will be $2 general admission. So try to get out and support the UK baseball Cats.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

UK looks to sign first spring recruit and more

With the spring signing period starting today April 16, 2008 and ending May 21, 2008. The University of Kentucky mens basketball program looks to sign their first spring recruit in 6' 7 guard Kevin Galloway a JUCO player from College of Southern Idaho. Galloway averaged 8.8 points, 8.5 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 steals a game. Galloway will join Darius Miller of Mason County and DeAndre Liggins of Henderson(Nev) Findley Prep School who signed with UK in the fall and will be part of UK's 2008 recruiting class.

Other recruits that UK could sign during the spring sign period from April 16 - May 21, 2008 include:

  • Juan Pattillo forward College of Southern Idaho [Galloway's JUCO teammate]
  • Josh Harrellson center Southwestern Illinois Community College
  • Roderick Flemings guard Weatherford (Texas) Community College
  • Maurice Sutton center Upper Marlboro (Md.)
  • Verdell Jones guard Champaign (Ill.)
  • Paul McCoy guard Portland (Ore.)
  • Ater Majok, power forward a Sudan native living in Australia

Monday, April 14, 2008

Kyra Elzy New UK Hoops Assistant Coach

According to this report UK has hired Kansas Assistant Coach Kyra Elzy to replace former Assistant Coach Niya Butts, who left UK to become Arizona's New Womens Head basketball Coach earlier in April.

All was not rosy for Kansas on Thursday night. Assistant coach Kyra Elzy will be parting ways with Henrickson after serving on her staff for four years at Kansas. Elzy said she accepted a job as assistant coach at the University of Kentucky Wednesday morning.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Elzy said. “I couldn’t pass it up. As much as I’ve loved Kansas, the staff and these players, to be close to home where I grew up and back in the SEC, what I’ve known my whole career after playing at Tennessee, is just a great opportunity for me.”

Around the SEC Links-4/14/08

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Last Remaining Link To UK's Past

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

As I watched Former UK Coach Joe B Hall talk at the Memorial service last Friday it reminded me that everyone at UK is now gone that has links back to Coach Rupp....except Joe B Hall! Many UK fans don't realize that Joe not only coached UK, but played for Coach Rupp before transferring to Shawnee college to get playing time. Joe was at UK when the Cats were loaded with All Americans...the Fabulous Five era.

Unquestionably, Hall had one of the great challenges ever in college basketball....follow the "Giant and Legend" of Adolph Rupp.....the man who laid the foundation for UK basketball over 42 years! Joe not only followed Rupp with his own success, but he did it with class. Hall added another NCAA title and achieved great success over his 13 years
(1973-85) as UK's coach. In addition, many feel Hall coached perhaps the greatest victory in UK history....if not the greatest it was among the greatest....I'm talking about UK defeating a tremendous Indiana team 92-90 in the NCAA in Dayton. I was fortunate enough to be there and it was an incredible atmosphere....half the arena was in Indiana red and the other half was in Kentucky Blue. The crowd was electric as UK and Indiana made great play after great play. Indiana had taken UK to the woodshed in an earlier game that year, but this UK team played would not be denied and played a fantastic game in defeating Indiana.

I've always felt that Joe B Hall never received the honors that he deserved at UK. Hall should definitely be in the Hall of Fame for his achievements at UK. Also, I feel that over the years too many UK fans have taken Hall for granted and never given him his due.

Joe B Hall is a class act and he was a huge part in carrying on the tremendous UK tradition. Hall didn't let Coach Rupp down.....neither did he let the great UK fans down.

Hopefully, UK can start honoring this great man who gave so much to UK. Sadly, Joe B Hall is the last link to UK glorious past....Thank you Joe B Hall for all you have done in the past for Kentucky basketball!

Joe B Hall UK Coaching Career:

  • 1 NIT Championship: 1975-76
  • 1 NCAA Championship: 1977-78
  • 3 Final Fours: 1974-75; 1977-78; 1983-84
  • 8 SEC Regular Season Championships: 1972-73; 1974-75; 1976-77(Co-Champs); 1977-78; 1979-80; 1981-82(Co-Champs); 1982-83; 1983-84
  • 1 SEC Tournament Championship: 1983-84 [Note: SEC had done away with the Tournament for several years and had just started playing the Tournament again in the early 80's. There forth Coach Hall only winning it once before his retirement.]

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Look To UK's Future Next Season!

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

As UK fans reflect on this past season under 1st year coach Billy Gillispie, we have much to be optimistic about concerning the Cats future. We saw our new coach install a much needed new culture of toughness....overcome perhaps the worst series of player injuries in UK history.......never lose faith in the basketball principles and tactics that had led to his past success as a head coach......never waver in his confidence or make excuses for UK's shaky start......slowly, but surely get all the players to buy in to the new coaching philosophy which resulted in positive improvement in all the key players.....turn the season around and achieve what many thought was impossible early in the season.....taking UK back to the NCAA. In short, Billy Gillispie put to rest any doubts among the UK fan base that he is not a terrific bench coach.

Now as all UK fans look forward to next season, one fact became painfully obvious last season....UK needs a lot more talent to make it back to being an elite team and have a good chance of making it to the Final Four. There is no question that one of the primary reasons that Gillispie was hired was to significantly increase the overall talent at Kentucky. Since BCG arrived in Lexington, he has been a whirlwind of activity on the recruiting trail.

As we consider next season, we must recognize that the Cats lost two terrific scorers and players in seniors Bradley and Crawford. Unquestionably, for UK to improve next years record, much more offensive punch must be available. As we review the probable returning roster, it is comforting to see a healthy Patterson back on the UK frontline. Patterson, easily one of the 2-3 best freshmen ever at UK, is the total package....great attitude and work ethic....exceedingly talented on both the offensive and defensive end. It is expected that a fully healthy Jasper will return next season and we saw evidence of his improved shooting from the 3 point line....but Jasper will need to be more offensive minded next year. Harris who was perhaps UK's best defensive player will also need to improve his offensive production. As the year progressed, Cat fans were happy to see significant improvement in Perry Stevenson both offensively and defensively. Stevenson definitely was a much more confident player late in the season, but Perry needs to improve his shooting on open 6-12 feet jump shots.So while Jasper, Harris and Stevenson all showed improvement last season....more will be expected and needed next season. A J Stewart finally started to gain the confidence of Coach Gillispie late last season......Stewart is very athletic and as he increases his understanding of Gillispie's offense and defense, he could play a much more significant role next season. Porter, remains a valuable back up role player. Perhaps, the biggest question mark for next years roster is will Meeks return healthy. Meeks is a terrific talent and a first rate scorer, but he needs to be healthy.

At this time, we don't know whether surgery will be required, but whatever is decided, the Cats definitely will need a healthy Meeks on the court next year to help offset the loss of scoring from Bradley and Crawford.

The next question is will there be any transfers.....certainly, Williams and Carter remain possibilities because of their almost non-existent playing time last year. Whoever transfers will determine how many scholarships Billy will have to work with for 08.

At this time, BCG has added very talented Darius Miller, Kentucky's Mr. Basketball....Miller, although a freshman, should provide some solid scoring punch for the Cats next season.....also, UK welcomes Deandre Liggins on board barring any late developing eligibility issues. Liggins while more of a passer than scorer, is also very talented and will likely develop his offensive game under Coach Gillispie. In addition, BCG recently added Kevin Galloway, a junior college player, to UK's roster. Galloway, like Jasper, Liggins, Miller and Harris is in the 6'6' to 6'7" range. BCG seems to prefer these lengthy talented players that can be very tough defensively and yet develop their offensive game.

There is no question that UK needs more frontline help. While we can't always be certain which recruits that BCG is most interested in....the fact that recruits 6'0" PG Paul McCoy from Oregon....6'6" Roderick Flemings, JUCO star and a very good scorer.....and Maurice Sutton 6'11" are set to visit UK would reveal good interest in all three from BCG. Also, it appears that BCG is hoping to get Josh Harrellson, a 6'8 250lb talented center, in for a visit. Another big man on BCG's radar is Ater Majok, 6'10" center who may be leaning toward U Conn. Bottom line, there could be other names pop up that BCG is after or there could be possible transfer in to UK. At this time all we can do is speculate as to how many new additions to the UK roster there will be for the 08/09 season. We know that BCG is working hard to shore up UK's talent for next season and provide more bench depth. We also know that the recruits coming into the UK program will have demonstrated to Gillispie that they have not only the talent to succeed at UK, but just as important....they have also shown a tough minded attitude and a very good work ethic.

As for next season, the fact that a number of returning players will have been through BCG's boot camp and his intense practices is a major plus. These players have seen first hand the importance and success of buying in totally to Gillispie culture. They will be able to influence and encourage the new players to cooperate 100%. If the Cats can avoid the type of costly injuries of last season, then I fully expect a much more prepared and effective UK team early next season. Of course, we will all have a better handle on next years UK team, once the final roster is set.

However, I fully expect a much improved UK team next season, but not one that is ready to return to elite status. If recruiting is successful and the Cats add some solid talent for next seasons frontline, then I feel UK has an excellent opportunity to return to the top 20. We have a great coach in Billy Gillispie and UK's future is very bright. We won't get back to the promised land next season, but we will be well on our way!

Monday, April 07, 2008

My take on 'Why Gillispie will not leave UK for OSU'

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Bill Self is an Okla St. alum and his wife was a cheerleader at Okla St., so there is a definite passed connection between Self and Okla St.

While Okla St. is certainly not on par with Kansas as a basketball power, it still is a good basketball school with a history that goes all the way back to the great Okla St. coach Henry Iba(It was Okla A&M at that time). So, with obvious ties to Okla St. plus a large sum of money from Okla St. it is a possibility that Self would consider leaving Kansas, although my guess is that he stays at Kansas.

Now, as far as the 'rumors' regarding Billy Gillispie and Okla St.....I would be beyond shocked if Gillispie would leave UK, one of the top 3 programs in America, after one year to go to Okla St. where Gillispie has no ties.

There are a host of reasons why Gillispie will not leave UK for Okla St.

  1. Gillispie, as UK's coach, has reached the pinnacle of college basketball.
  2. Billy loves college basketball and has found a school in UK that has fans that are just as passionate about basketball as Billy.
  3. Gillispie is one of the highest paid coaches at UK and stands to make considerably more in the future.
  4. Billy has a beautiful new 12,000 sq ft house.
  5. Billy had a successful first year at UK where he laid the foundation for future success in the program.
  6. Billy has earned great respect and admiration in his first year from UK fans.
  7. UK's basketball facilities are second to none....and the new practice facility is state of the art.
  8. Billy has already got commitments from three very talented recruits with more likely to follow very soon.
  9. Last, but not least, for Billy Gillispie to leave UK after one year would send a very negative message regarding his reputation as a coach throughout the basketball world....it would tell future recruits that Billy isn't loyal and is only interested in more money. It would have a chilling effect on his recruiting.
I truly feel that Billy Gillispie loves being coach at UK and that he is loyal to UK. IMO, Billy Gillispie will be head coach at UK for many years and he will be a huge success!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Should the NCAA Increase the Fouls Allowed?

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

In watching college basketball in recent years, and especially this year, it appears that the quality of officiating has gone downhill. We see big inconsistencies in officiating....players kncked down and no foul called.....ticky tack fouls that are too often called.

I understand that 5 fouls has been in college basketball forever, but I truly believe that because players are much bigger and quicker today that the game is much more difficult to officiate, especally what's a charge and what isn't.

As we all know, college basketball is the only sport where a player is penalized by being removed from the game. How often have we seen key players sent to the bench with 2 fouls early in the 1st half and replays show that one or both fouls were very questionable if not a terrible call. Fans don't pay to see referees call fouls....they want to see both teams play their best players and see who wins.

I think it is time for the NCAA to test a 6 foul rule in some leagues and let's see what the results are. I know some will say....the NBA plays 48 minutes and gets 6 fouls....but, let's be honest....the NBA doesn't referee games as closely as college....they allow a great deal more contact.....plus the best players are often protected. You seldom see players fouling out in the pros. My gosh....blatant walking is hardly called in the pros.

IMO, it is time for the NCAA to take a serious look at increasing the allowed fouls from 5 to 6. This would permit the best players to stay on the floor longer. There are a number of penalities that the NCAA could implement...such as rewarding the other team 2 free throws when a player reaches 5 fouls.

For my money there are simply too many bad calls and players going to the bench and sitting for large portions of the game. I think 6 fouls would allow for a bad call and still have players in the game. It would be much fairer.

Some analysts on ESPN have been discussing the flaws and unfairness of the 5 foul rule. This is 2008....it's past time to visit this rule and at least experiment with 6 fouls. JMO!

Around the SEC Links-4/5/08

Friday, April 04, 2008

Bill Keightley Memorial Videos and Transcript

Heres some video's of those that spoke at Bill Keightley's public viewing. Also the transcript of those that spoke as well. Bill 'Mr. Wildcat' Keightley is considered a Legend, Hero, Friend, Father and Husband. But by many he is and was UK Basketball. Mr. Keightley will be missed and UK Basketball will never be the same.

Rick Pitino on Bill Keightly

Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Pitino has taken alot of flack over the last 7 years since he took the UL gig. That never bothered me. Pitino brought UK back from the total abyss. They were stuck with probation and not alot of light at the end of the tunnel. Pitino was actually CM's 3rd choice behind Lute Olson and PJ.

Yet, he came in, rolled up his sleeves and got to work. He brought UK back to the top of the NCAA. He did his job and did it well! I am a believer a person gets to the point where they feel they've done all they can a job. It seems he got to that point at UK.

So he choose to go to UL. Big deal. What always bothered me about Pitino was his smugness. The good ones don't become good without an ego, so that never was an issue with me.

We've all heard that 9/11 really changed Pitino due to losing his brother-in-law. Rick was wonderful today in his remarks about Bill Keightley. Like him or not but Rick knows and understands UK basketball and what it stands for.

'Mr. Wildcat' had a genuine love for Rick. Why else be in the stands when your biggest rival(UL) is playing arguably your 2nd biggest rival (UNC) in the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament.

I think Rick summed it up very well at today's service:

"We lost the soul when we lost Cawood, now we lost the heart."

I won't root for UL because they are UL. I won't root against UL because of Rick Pitino. UK fans need to let the animosity go towards Rick.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Around the SEC Links-4/3/08

Former Wildcat Marvin Stone Dies


Marvin Stone

Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama Grissom
Position: F-C
Playing Height: 6-10
Playing Weight:
268
Date of Birth: June 2, 1981
Date of Death: April 1, 2008

Prep Notes:
Mr. Basketball State of Alabama 1999
Parade's All-American
McDonald's All-American



Obituary - Stone Dies in Overseas Game, Huntsville (AL) Times (April 2, 2008) by Mike Easterling

    Prep All-American led Grissom to state title in 1999

    Marvin "Tree" Stone, a 6-foot-10 center who was named the state's Mr. Basketball after leading Grissom High School to the Class 6A championship in 1999, has died of an apparent heart attack.

    Stone, 26, fell ill during a semifinal game Tuesday night while playing for Ittihad Jeddah in Saudi Arabia's professional Elite Cup, according to eurobasket.com. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    "It's terrible. It's awful," former Grissom and current Guntersville coach Ronnie Stapler said. "Life's so precious."

    Stone was among the nation's highest-rated post players in his class throughout high school.

    He was named All-America by Parade and McDonald's as a senior. He was also selected to USA Today's Super 25 team and played for the USA Junior National Team.

    He signed with Kentucky, but left the Wildcats after 2-1/2 seasons. After sitting out a year, he finished his eligibility at Louisville under coach Rick Pitino.

    "It really saddens all of us at U of L to see a young man like Marvin lose his life at such a young age," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said in a statement. "Our deepest sympathies go out to the Stone family."

    Stone's father, Marvin Stone Sr., died of a heart attack in 1999 at age 47. One of his four sisters, Ontina Stone Davila, died in 2001 during a heart operation. She was 32.

    Stone was drafted in 2003 by the Dodge City Legend of the USBL as the 19th overall pick, but never played for the team.

    After a stint in the Reebok Summer Pro League for the Washington Wizards, he went to Italy in September 2003 to play but was released after failing a physical. He signed and played with Paris Basket Racing two months later.

    He continued to play overseas, counting Greece, Spain and Germany among his stops. He was with Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus until completing its most recent season, signed with Ittihad Jeddah for the playoffs and was only with the team a few days before his death.

    Stone leaves behind a 5-year-old son, his mother Lois, and three sisters.

    "For the Stones, there's been a lot of tragedy in a short amount of time," Stapler said. "(Lois) has had a lot to deal with."