Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.
UK basketball seniors Ramon Harris, Mark Krebs and Perry Stevenson throw out first pitch at last night's UK-U of L baseball game. (H-L photo/Charles Bertram)
Big Blue Links for Wednesday:
Despite 11th-hour recruiting interest shown by Kentucky Coach John Calipari, Kentucky Mr. Basketball Elisha Justice has decided to stick with his commitment to walk on at Louisville. “They followed me all year,” Justice said of Louisville on Tuesday. “I know they’ve been loyal to me. I feel I was wanted more there.”
But as we first reported several weeks ago, Orton has caught the attention of a number of NBA GMs, the most prominent of which is the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Sam Presti. According to a source close to the process, the Thunder are sending signals that if Orton is in the draft, they’d take him with one of their two first-round picks. Currently that would put Orton in the early 20s. However, a few other GMs have told ESPN.com that they’d consider taking Orton even higher.
Terrence Jones, the McDonald’s All-American who plays at Jefferson High School, has narrowed his finalists to a list of five (UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Kentucky and Oklahoma). And, given a reason, he’d like to stay close to home. Said Jones on Tuesday: “I’m waiting to see who the coach at Oregon is going to be.”
Rumors have swirled about eligibility and UK’s potential Academic Progress Rating ever since a UK player took the last shot of the season. Most of it has been false or a little off-key. Some of it has only been half-right, with the wrong formulas but correct outcome. But all in all, as long as a player ends the season in good academic standing, the Cats are in good shape with scholarships.
That news eliminates formidable powerhouses Kentucky and Tennessee. And as Meyer notes, Cothron has visited Alabama but has yet to visit Auburn or Marquette, which is a pretty clear indicator that the Tide is in good shape. Another important note: Cothron is originally from Huntsville and grew up an Alabama fan.
And Kentucky put on a show for a season-high crowd of 3,819, blanking Louisville 5-0. Jordan Cooper, Mike Kacz marek and Nick Kennedy combined on a four-hitter and the first shutout in the series since UK won 6-0 in 1989.
Kaczmarek (1-0) had complete control against the Cardinals (23-5). In relief of starter Jordan Cooper, he struck out two, walked none and allowed only one runner to reach second base. That keyed a four-hitter by the Cats (19-11), the first team to shut out UofL this season. Cooper pitched the first 32/3 innings, and Nick Kennedy closed the door with 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief.
In the first inning, the Cards loaded the bases against freshman Jordan Cooper with one out for Phil Wunderlich, who leads Louisville with 10 home runs. With a freshman pitcher, in the first inning of a rivalry game, against a power threat, the Cats were looking at the possibility of falling into a dangerous hole. But Cooper bore down, inducing a double play out of the Cardinals’ big bat.
Many people figured a pair of local kids, Aaron Boyd and E.J. Fields, would have been cornerstones of the Kentucky wide receiver corps by now. Boyd, from Henry Clay, was the highest-rated member of UK’s 2008 recruiting class, and the Wildcats looked as if they had gotten a steal when Fields, from Frankfort, reported to fall camp the same year.
At first glance, it’s hard to imagine Moncell Allen ever played anywhere other than fullback. His squatty 5-foot-7, 225-pound frame doesn’t lend itself to images of a playmaking tailback. But that’s where the senior-to-be has been cast mostly to this point in his career.
Tonight I spoke to Pat Martin (Greenville, SC) regarding his football recruitment. Pat currently has several offers from major programs and is expecting more soon. His offer list includes LSU, Cincinnati, Duke, Maryland, Miss State, Arkansas and UCLA. Last night he spoke with UK’s Tee Martin, who told him the Cats were going to send him an offer.
Who’s going to be the quarterback? The Cats have three options with Hartline, Newton and Mossakowski, the staff must have this down to two players by the end of spring. It will be an interesting competition to watch as all three bring good things to table. Hartline is the game manager, Newton won some big games as a true freshman and Mossakowski probably throws the best ball and fits UK’s offense bet.
When the UK women’s basketball team tipped off against Boston University in NCAA Division I’s first official game of the 2009-10 season on the morning of Friday, Nov. 13, who imagined the Cats would fall just two games short of the season’s final game? Apparently, an early start on Friday the 13th wasn’t so unlucky after all.