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BBL: Reactions to the Cats being mauled in Maui

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(H-L photo/David Perry)

(H-L photo/David Perry)

Click here for the Herald-Leader photo gallery from Maui.

Big Blue Links for Thursday:

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BBL: Linking up Kentucky’s win over Washington

Kentucky
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(H-L photo/David Perry)

Big Blue Links for Wednesday:

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BBL: Terrence Jones makes waves in Maui

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(H-L photo/David Perry)

(H-L photo/David Perry)

Herald-Leader photo gallery from Kentucky’s win over Oklahoma.

Big Blue Links for Tuesday:

Terrence Jones’ double-double leads Kentucky to win in Maui

Jones’ 29 points equaled the second-most by a Kentucky freshman (Jamal Mashburn scored 31 against visiting Georgia in 1991) and advanced Kentucky into Tuesday’s semifinals of the EA Sports Maui Invitational. Jones also posted career highs with 13 rebounds and four blocks, plus he equalled his previous best of three assists. (Jerry Tipton, Herald-Leader)

Kentucky’s Terrence Jones was too much for Oklahoma

When Oklahoma basketball coach Jeff Capel recruited forward Terrence Jones, he envisioned a player who could dominate games at both ends of the court with his versatility. Jones ended up signing with the University of Kentucky, and on Monday he validated Capel’s assessment, torching the Sooners for 29 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks and three assists to lead No. 8 UK to a 76-64 win in the first round of the Maui Invitational. (Brett Dawson, Courier-Journal)

Washington crushes Virginia 106-63 to earn date with Kentucky

This was the game the Huskies wanted the country to see. They showcased their size, speed, diverse offense and unrelenting defense in a spectacular display that overwhelmed Virginia in a game that turned into a rout soon after the purple-clad capacity crowd at Lahaina Civic Center settled into their seats. Washington not only defeated Virginia 106-63 in the first round of the Maui Invitational on Monday, the 13th-ranked Huskies sent a message to everyone else in the tournament that they’re a legitimate contender to take the title. (Percy Allen, Seattle Times)

Randall Cobb tries to play down importance of the UK-Tennessee football game

Randall Cobb was trying to play it cool Monday when addressing the media about the upcoming game at Tennessee. Despite the fact that Kentucky will be playing to: A) end the nation’s longest losing streak to another school at 25; B) to finish in a possible tie for third in the SEC East; and C) to improve its bowl destination, Cobb wouldn’t give the media much ammo with regards to the importance of the game. That’s not even taking into the fact that Cobb is a native of nearby Alcoa who didn’t get the recruiting love he probably should have from Tennessee. (Chip Cosby, Herald-Leader)

Terrence Jones steals the show, now ready for match with Washington

This summer, when Jones withdrew his commitment to UW, it was a big deal but no one knew quite how meaningful it would be. Jones was considered a top recruit, but wasn’t considered in the same league as Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones or Kyrie Irving. Enes Kanter’s defection from the Huskies to the Wildcats was seen as the bigger loss. But in mid-November, it looks like the Huskies may have lost more than they imagined. Kanter has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA and Jones has more than stepped in to fill the void. (Chad Ford, espn)

Terrence Jones brilliant in Kentucky win over Sooners

Jones did a little bit, actually a whole lot, of everything to lead Kentucky to a 76-64 victory over Oklahoma in the first round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational. The freshman forward dazzled the capacity crowd of 2,400 at the Lahaina Civic Center, capping his breakthrough performance by blocking a Cade Davis three-point attempt and getting a runout dunk on the other end to stem the Sooners’ final rally. Jones’ 29 points tied Eric Bledsoe for the second most in a game by a UK freshman, falling just a two short of Jamal Mashburn’s record. The 6-foot-8 forward added 12 rebounds to push the Cats through a ragged second half. (Matt May, Cats Pause)

Rested Kentucky focusing on ending Tennessee streak

Kentucky coach Joker Phillips says his team is treating the season finale against Tennessee like just another game, though he allows it’s hard not to think about what a victory over the Volunteers would mean. The Wildcats (6-5, 2-5 SEC) have lost 25 straight to the Volunteers (5-6, 2-5), a streak that dates back to 1984, before any players on Kentucky’s current roster were born. A win would also prevent the Volunteers from becoming bowl eligible while bolstering Kentucky’s bowl prospects. (Will Graves, Associated Press)

Tennessee’s freshman quarterback, Tyler Bray, still developing

Tyler Bray isn’t Superman, after all. Not yet, anyway. Before throwing an interception late in the second quarter of Saturday’s win at Vanderbilt, Tennessee’s true freshman quarterback completed 12 of 14 passes for 173 yards, two scores and no turnovers. “I thought we came out early and played well,” coach Derek Dooley said. “I think the first 15 plays of the game, we had five explosive plays, which is really good. I think Tyler, he started out [well]. The first quarter and a half, we really felt like we were executing the game plan well.” (Wes Rucker, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

Vols and Wildcats both to be missing defensive tackles

Kentucky’s Mark Crawford, who has started most of this season, has been suspended for the remainder of the season for what coach Joker Phillips said was a violation of team rules. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley announced Monday that sophomore Montori Hughes was suspended for this game for violating the Vols’ academic policy. (Chris Low, espn)

Football claims its focus is on seventh win, not losing streak to Tennessee

A new sign was on the door to the Wildcat Den in Commonwealth Stadium before UK’s weekly Monday morning news conference. It was fairly self-explanatory: “Beat Tennessee.” However, defeating Tennessee (5-6, 2-5 Southeastern Conference) is something that the Cats (6-5, 2-5 SEC) haven’t been able to do since 1984, when UK head Joker Phillips played for the Cats and before any players on the current roster were even born. Since that year, the Volunteers have won 25 straight against their border rivals to the North. (Nick Craddock, Kentucky Kernel)

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BBL: Kentucky ready for today’s Maui test

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(H-L photo/David Perry)

(H-L photo/David Perry)

Herald-Leader photo gallery of UK fans visiting Pearl Harbor.

Big Blue Links:

Experience could mean sink or swim for Cats

“Obviously, Michigan State should win going away,” Calhoun said as a smiling (and wincing) Spartans Coach Tom Izzo sat nearby. “Tommy has one of the best teams I’ve seen in 20 or 30 years.” Calhoun did not mention experience – nor a favorite’s role – in a needling salute to Kentucky.
“John (Calipari) has got more talent than the Celtics,” the UConn coach said. “The rest of us scrap for the pieces.” (Jerry Tipton, Herald-Leader)

Kentucky to face Oklahoma today in Maui Invitational

The sky and the water are the brightest blue here in basketball paradise. The teams and coaches assembled for the Maui Invitational are first-rate, as usual. And yet University of Kentucky coach John Calipari sounded uncertain on Sunday whether his No. 12 Wildcats are in the right place at the right time. “If I’ve got a veteran team … this is a great tournament to go in,” Calipari said. “If you have a young team, it’s hard. I don’t know what we’ll look like. The hardest thing in this tournament is you’re going to learn, and does it knock you for a loop? We could be knocked for a loop.” (Brett Dawson, Courier-Journal)

Experience critical in challenging event

Kentucky comes in as arguably the youngest team (Oklahoma could give the Cats a run for their money in that area), which means Calipari is bound and determined to see what his inexperienced club can do under unique conditions. The Cats already survived a dangerous opener to the road trip, blowing out capable mid-major Portland on its home turf before jetting to the island. (Matt May, Cats Pause)

Dunlap leads No. 9 Cats past No. 12 Notre Dame 81-76

Maybe Kentucky just caught lightning in a bottle last season. Maybe it was all just a fluke. There were all sorts of conspiracy theories out there for how lowly Kentucky managed to advance to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight for the first time ever. The players for ninth-ranked UK heard all of the pre-season questions and went a long way toward answering them Sunday with an 81-76 win over No. 12 Notre Dame at Memorial Coliseum. (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

(AP photo/Ed Reinke)

(AP photo/Ed Reinke)

Ex-UK receiver Stevie Johnson has last laugh against Bengals

The Joker buffaloed Batman and Robin. Steve Johnson, the third-year receiver out of Kentucky, caught a career-high three touchdown passes Sunday to rally the Buffalo Bills over the Cincinnati Bengals, 49-31. All three of his scores came in Buffalo’s 35-0 second half. As if to add “POW! BAM!” to his first touchdown, Johnson lifted his jersey to reveal a message scrawled on his shirt: “Why so serious?” (Mark Maloney, Lexington Herald-Leader)

Ex-Lexington Catholic teammates stage tug-of-war at Memorial

Thing was, even though Novosel ended up with a career-high 21 points, Notre Dame never got closer. “I would rather have had zero points and won the game,” the former Lexington Catholic standout said afterward. Snowden scored 17. “But honestly,” said Notre Dame’s Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw, “I really thought that 4 won the game for them.” That No. 4 would be Snowden, herself a former Lexington Catholic standout. “I think UK won the game for UK,” said Snowden. (John Clay, Lexington Herald-Leader.)

Calipari’s concerns valid

If you think John Calipari is just blowing smoke when he talks about taking a young team into a tough spot like the Maui Invitational, just look at what happened this past week to North Carolina at one of those types of events. The Tar Heels suffered back-to-back upset losses to unranked teams in Minnesota and Vanderbilt. (Tom Leach)

John Calipari likes Maui now

Nobody travels like Kentucky.Blue is everywhere. Maui tournament officials wouldn’t release details of tickets sold by each team, etc., but Kentucky is the only team said to have sold out their packages. Tickets are purchased through schools, through the tournament and through outside agencies. Anyway, fans have a lot to do with teams coming here, which tournament chairman Dave Odom pointed out. And, no, Odom was never upset with Calipari’s comments. (Mike Anthony, Hartford Courant)

Maui Invitational loaded with talent again

Terrence Jones? He didn’t come up until someone asked, and even then the down-to-the-last-second recruiting duel wasn’t an issue. “Honestly, we could make a big deal out of it, but it’s just going to be a game where you have a lot of respect for their program,” Romar said as waves crashed about 50 yards away. “All the teams we have a chance to play here, all our guys are going to look forward to it.” (John Marshall, AP)

Cats’ Hoops fend off No. 12 Irish 81-76

A mid-November game had the atmosphere, environment and play of an NCAA tournament game as the No. 10 UK women’s basketball team held on to defeat No. 12 Notre Dame 81-76. Although UK (4-0) and Notre Dame (3-2) women’s basketball teams have never played each other before, the intensity surrounding the game made it seem like a bitter rivalry. Thanks to a hometown crowd of 6,794 and senior forward Victoria Dunlap the Cats ousted the Irish. (T.J. Walker, Kentucky Kernel)

What fluke? UK Hoops squash notion with statement win

Faced with an NCAA Tournament-like atmosphere in front of a near-packed house of 6,794 fans at Memorial Coliseum, the No. 9/10 Kentucky women’s basketball team made a pretty significant statement to the rest of college basketball with an 81-76 win over No. 12 Notre Dame: Last season was no fluke. And this year’s team, still very much a work in progress, could be just as good, if not better, than last year’s team by season’s end. (Eric Lindsey, Cat Scratches)

UConn’s Jim Calhoun favors Michigan State in Maui

Of the eight teams in the field, the No. 2 Spartans (2-0) have the strongest mix of experience and talent. While other coaches said the tournament would be a learning experience for their newcomers, Izzo was able to discuss seasoned players like senior guards Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers, and junior forward Draymond Green. “Does anyone have any veteran players here?” Kentucky coach John Calipari jokingly asked the group. Izzo smiled slyly and raised his hand. (Shannon Shelton Miller, Detroit Free Press)

Michigan State the talk of the town at Maui Invitational

Led by all-Big Ten point guard Kalin Lucas, senior Durrell Summers and junior forward Draymond Green, Michigan State returns three starters and nine lettermen from the team that posted a 28-9 record last season and made its second consecutive trip to the Final Four. “I think experience does help,” Izzo said. “We’ve had four or five guys who have had Final Four experience, so they know what the big stage is like and playing in front of 75,000 people. And this is a big stage.” (Percy Allen, Seattle Times)

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BBL: Kentucky women ready for Notre Dame

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(H-L photo/David Perry)

(H-L photo/David Perry)

Big Blue Links for Sunday:

Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader: “Lexington Catholic loyalties will be tested on Sunday. That’s when Natalie Novosel’s No. 12 Notre Dame team comes to Lexington to take on Keyla Snowden’s No. 9 Kentucky team. Both were star guards on the Lady Knights’ teams that won back-to-back state championships and went an impressive 71-2 in a two-year span.”

More Jennifer Smith of the H-L: “Mitchell used to be a traditionalist, too. He’d aim to sign a great post player or a great power forward or a perfect point guard. But in three seasons of not always signing those players, his views have evolved. “I just wanted people who wanted to come to Kentucky and we’d figure the rest out,” he explained. “We’d figure out what position you play, what we’re going to do. That’s sort of what happened with a couple of those classes and now we’ve created a style out of those types of players and now we’re looking for those types of kids that can swing and play different positions.”

Eric Lindsey of Cat Scratches: “No worries, though, Wildcat fans: Head coach Matthew Mitchell has found a quick cure in freshman do-it-all Maegan Conwright. The 5-foot-8 freshman guard out of Arlington, Texas, has played a significant role in her first two collegiate games, serving as a one-man band-aid for Mitchell’s injury-plagued team. Though she came in as the least heralded of UK’s five-player mega recruiting class, she’s made the largest contribution so far.”

Jerry Tipton of the H-L: “After the University of Kentucky battered Portland 79-48 in Friday night’s tuneup for the EA Sports Maui Invitational, Coach John Calipari assessed his team. “I do know we’re fast and athletic,” he said. “I do know we shoot it well. I do know we’re unselfish and will pass the ball. We’ve just got to get some guys a little tougher. When they get bumped, when they get bodied up, they shoot fadeaway hooks and stuff.”

Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal: “The zone has been a four-letter defense for most of John Calipari’s career, but the University of Kentucky basketball coach has added one to his playbook, and the Wildcats might employ it during this week’s Maui Invitational. Just don’t ask them to explain it. The Calzone, apparently, defies description. “It’s a funky – it’s not a traditional zone,” Calipari said. “It’s a little bit of a crazy, funky zone that we’re going to start using, that I’ll probably use over in Maui. It’s a combination of a couple different zones that we’re just going to throw at people and see what happens.”

Glenn Logan of A Sea of Blue: “The thing that’s so great about this team is how far they are ahead of last year, execution-wise. This year’s Wildcats are chock full of great passers, and the result is the kind of ball movement we didn’t see out of last year’s team until near the end of the SEC season. I really love the combination of good ball handling with the constant threat of dribble penetration from anywhere. It puts a ton of pressure on the man-to-man defense, and the solid midrange game these new guys bring make playing a matchup zone a dicey proposition against them. Last year, Kentucky had one, but never both.”

Chip Cosby of the H-L: “Freshman Donte Rumph is already well over the 300-pound mark, and the same goes for third-year sophomore Mister Cobble. Another freshman, end Nermin Delic, is already one of the strongest players on the team. Freshman Brice Laughlin stands 6-foot-3 and, while listed at 280 pounds, appears to be much closer to the 300-pound range. Ditto for Elliott Porter.”

Evan Hilbert of AOL FanHouse: “This year, or so it appears thus far, not only will Kentucky have the ability to bury 3-pointers, but it will be a weapon. Each starter last night, and extending to Doron Lamb and Jon Hood off the bench, is a confident shooter that can be a viable outside threat. Last night on the road against Portland, Kentucky was 8-18 from deep, a solid follow-up to their 13-26 performance in their opener. Both of which are a far cry from the season-ending loss to West Virginia last year in which Kentucky missed its first 20 shots from long range, albeit against much less stout defensive pressure.”

Joe Rexrode of the Lansing State Journal: “Derrick Nix has some decisions to make, and he’ll do so while his Michigan State teammates play without him next week in the Maui Invitational. “Nix has got some personal issues and he is not suspended, we’ve just elected between him and I not to go to Maui,” Izzo said of the sophomore center from Detroit. “And he’s gonna have to figure out what those are and what he’s gonna do and what he wants to do.”

Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune: “During the second half, Jones loosened up and made some plays at both ends of the court. He followed a missed shot by a teammate with a two-hand flush, went baseline on Sikma for a rousing dunk and stuffed a post move by Portland backup Jasonn Hannibal. Jones was also blocked from behind by UP’s Kramer Knutson on a breakaway dunk attempt. “Terrence was OK, but I want him to be great,” Calipari said.”

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BBL: Cats know trip to Portland no bed of roses

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

Big Blue Links for Friday:

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BBL: Cobb’s jersey to be retired; Cats ready for trip

Kentucky
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Big Blue Links for Thursday:

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BBL: Portland’s bomber, Patrick Patterson and Doyel rant

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

Big Blue Links for Wednesday:

Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader: “With Kentucky playing at Portland on Friday, that kind of shooting ability has John Calipari’s attention. He noted Stohl by name while assessing the Pilots for listeners to his radio call-in show Monday night. “I’m scared to death,” the UK coach said Tuesday. ” … They have the best three-point shooter in the country.”

Steve Brandon of the Portland Tribune: “Last year, Jared Stohl made a name for himself. This year, he hopes to make a game for himself. And for his potential future employers. Stohk, a guard listed at 6-2 and 165 pounds, led the nation in 3-point accuracy as a University of Portland junior. The native of Marysville, Wash., has an expanded role now with the Pilots, who are 3-0 going into Friday’s 7:30 p.m. clash with the Kentucky Wildcats at the Rose Garden.”

David Hinojosa of the Brownsville Herald:Patrick Patterson is well aware of the allure of the NBA. He’s also aware that not getting any playing time while he’s in the NBA isn’t exactly productive for his development. So, the Rockets’ first-round draft pick from Kentucky now finds himself wearing a Rio Grande Valley Vipers’ uniform, and he’s OK with that. “I took it as a challenge,” Patterson said Tuesday afternoon shortly after the Vipers’ practice at Summit Sports Club. “Nobody really wants to not play, and I was frustrated with that because I really wanted to play in Houston.” (Hat tip to Walter’s Wildcat World.)

Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal: “Cobble, a 6-foot, 321-pound defensive tackle, said he encountered both at Commonwealth Stadium this season – fans who urged him to keep his head up and others who voiced their frustration that his struggles in the classroom had left him unable to contribute to a defensive line in need of depth. “It was hard,” Cobble said. “Eventually, it got to the point where when I went to the games I would just sit there and be quiet.”

Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports: “Which is why I’m confused. Not angry. Not steaming mad at the NCAA for its treatment of poor Enes Kanter or John Calipari or the Kentucky basketball program. All three will survive. Kentucky has the best freshman class in the country, with or without Kanter, and Calipari makes winning look easy because, for him, it is. He’s a natural in college, a force of nature, a recruiting monster who is respected by the best coaches in the business — Tom Izzo and Mark Few, to name two — for his X’s and O’s.”

Tom Leach writes: “UK fans need to root hard for Arkansas to beat Mississippi State but lose to LSU and for Florda to win out. And it wouldn’t hurt if Ole Miss upset Miss State, too. If that happens, then there are six teams (Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas and Florida) that figure to occupy two BCS bowl slots plus the Capital One, Outback, Cotton and Chick-fil-a. If the Gators finish 8-4, I think the Chick-fil-a Bowl would take them over Miss State.”

Matt Murray of the Kentucky Kernel:There’s no time to get complacent. A 23-point win is good, but no matter how much people want to idolize last year’s team, that particular group had a tendency to show an inability to put its foot on the throat of opponents after building a lead. This team’s size and inability to rebound demands that it take advantage of every point they put on the board. Gone are the days where the frontcourt will swallow up every rebound in its vicinity.”

Ira Combs of the Kentucky Sports Network: “The big question with John Calipari’s 2nd team (without Enes Kanter) concerns two categories in particular and what makes them so important and intriguing is that none of the players, nor Coach Cal can prevent or control either. Those two extremely important items that will make a difference in Wildcat fortunes this season are: #1 – Foul trouble concerns, even playing some zone. Game officials will still have that final call and don’t expect any consistency. #2 – Injury concerns. Simply put, pure luck will have to be depended on.”

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BBL: Why weren’t more there for Senior Day?

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(H-L photo)

(H-L photo)

Big Blue Links for Tuesday:

Larry Vaught of the Danville Advocate-Messenger: “But why were there fewer than 20,000 fans in the stadium when UK’s 16 seniors were honored Saturday before the Wildcats beat Vanderbilt That’s a topic we debated on WLAP during our Sunday Morning Sports Show and I asked for fans to let us know what happened. Some suggested the early start. Some suggested lack of interest in a team that was not entertaining enough. Some suggested UK had done too many things to alienate fans by raising ticket and parking prices.”

Steve Brandon of the Portland Tribune: “The Kentucky-UP matchup came about after the Wildcats landed the 6-8 Jones, who on Monday was named Southeastern Conference freshman of the week. Jones blistered East Tennessee State with 25 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two blocks in 35 minutes last Friday in the opener for Kentucky (1-0). “They wanted to have a game back here in Terrence’s hometown,” Reveno says. “For our program, building our reputation in Portland and competing against the best in the country and preparing ourselves for the tough West Coast Conference, we thought it was the perfect fit.”

Aaron Smith of the Kentucky Kernel: “The crowd wanted Jarrod Polson to shoot the ball. The swelling noise was urging him – imploring him – to hoist up a shot. Polson was one step inside the halfcourt line. “I could hear it,” Polson said of the Rupp Arena crowd after the Dillard game. “It kind of makes you a little more nervous. But it was pretty cool.”

Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader: “Without citing sources, a national sports blog reported Sunday night that University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart is a finalist for the same position at the University of Kansas. In a statement released through UK, Barnhart, a Kansas native, said he has not been formally contacted by the University of Kansas.”

Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal: “University of Kentucky cornerback Martavius Neloms will be suspended for the first half of the Wildcats’ season finale at Tennessee per an NCAA ejection rule, but he will not face further punishment from the Southeastern Conference. Neloms and Vanderbilt wide receiver Udom Umoh were ejected from the Wildcats’ 38-20 win against the Commodores after a fourth-quarter altercation.”

Ken Howlett of A Sea of Blue: “In the ever-changing world of college football, where the trend in desirable talent is heading toward the bigger, faster, stronger player, Cobb stands out as a man unblessed with the physical attributes most sought after by today’s college football coaches — Perhaps that is the reason the University of Tennessee, only 14 miles from Cobb’s hometown, opted not to recruit the homegrown star until it was too late.”

Paul Jordan of Wildcat Blue Nation: “As we know, Enes Kanter was declared ineligible by the NCAA. And he still has the opportunity to appeal the decision. Whether Kanter plays or not this year, he is more than likley a one year player for UK. Even if he is able to play for UK later this year, he is expected to be a one and done player. So in effect, as of now, it looks as if UK has one more scholarship for 2011. So who is going to fill that slot?”

Michael Lee of the Washington Post: “The probability that John Wall will miss his first NBA game Tuesday against Toronto seemed more likely on Monday as he moved around the halls of Verizon Center on crutches, unable to apply any pressure on the left foot he sprained two days before in Chicago. The crutches were an escalation from the protective walking boot he wore as he left United Center, weary from chasing around Derrick Rose during a 103-96 loss to the Bulls.”

Wildcat-Den writes: “If Kentucky coach John Calipari wants to know about Portland, he could give former UK coach Tubby Smith a call in order to find out more information on the Cats’ first opponent. Smith, now the coach at Minnesota, was one of 21 teams the Pilots defeated last season. Also included in a stack of school-record 21 wins was a win over UCLA. Portland has won its first three games of the season this year, including an 89-75 victory over Florida Atlantic last weekend.”

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BBL: Blog report says Barnhart finalist at Kansas

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

Mitch Barnhart

Mitch Barnhart

Big Blue Links for Monday:

SportsbyBrooks.com: “Two SEC school administration sources have told me in the past 48 hours that University of Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart will interview for the Kansas University Athletic Director position in early December. Joining Barnhart as a finalist for the position is current Tulsa Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham. Cunningham will also interview with Kansas for the job next month, which was recently vacated by the retirement of Lew Perkins. I’ve been told Barnhart and Cunningham are two of three finalists targeted by the six-member Kansas AD search panel, which is chaired by the managing partner of Pegasus Capital Management, Ray Evans.” (Hat tip to A Sea of Blue.)

(AP photo)

(AP photo)

Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader: “In just its second game of the season, on the road at Miami, Kentucky learned a lot about itself. The ninth-ranked Cats figured out they were capable of grinding out a win even when things don’t go as planned. “They really impressed me with some plays they made coming back from some negative circumstances,” Coach Matthew Mitchell said after UK escaped Millett Hall with an 84-71 victory.”

Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog: “The 6-foot-10, 280-pound (DaJuan) Coleman is the No. 3 center in the Class of 2011, per Rivals. He initially said his “top five” consisted of Syracuse, Ohio State, North Carolina, Kentucky and Louisville.”

Chip Cosby of the Herald-Leader: “After a rough October and early November, the Kentucky football team finally has some good vibes going into its open date this week. The Cats have a modest two-game winning streak, and though neither win was over a powerhouse (Charleston Southern and Vanderbilt), the tone in the locker room following a 38-20 win over Vandy was a far cry from the somber mood of the previous six weeks.”

Chris Low of espn.com: “Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET): Mississippi State vs. ACC team. Gator Bowl (Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m. ET): Florida vs. Big Ten team. Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Dec. 30, 6:40 p.m. ET): Tennessee vs. ACC team. AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ET): Georgia vs. Conference USA team. BBVA Compass Bowl (Jan. 8, noon ET): Kentucky vs. Big East team.”

Ethan Levine of the Kentucky Kernel: “It was an emotional day at Memorial Coliseum as the UK volleyball program sent off two of its top players in front of a packed house. Seniors Lauren Rapp and Blaire Hiler were honored before the team’s game against Louisiana State at UK’s annual Senior Day. UK then took the court and sent their seniors off in style by defeating No. 15 LSU in a five-set thriller 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 18-25, 15-11.”

Michael Lee of the Washington Post: “John Wall’s first regular season game against Derrick Rose didn’t end the way he probably had hoped. His Washington Wizards lost to Chicago, 103-96, and needed a vintage Gilbert Arenas offensive outburst to avoid an embarrassing deficit. And Wall exited the United Center on Saturday with his left shoe in his black backpack and his left foot in a walking boot after he sprained his arch trying to defend Rose.”

Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee: “(Ben)Wallace, who is in his 15th season, knows how to get away with “a lot of holding,” Cousins said. “I tried to step in and take a charge on Charlie (Villanueva), and I couldn’t get in the lane because Ben was holding me back,” he said. “And that’s a smart move, (because) the referee’s watching the ball.” Cousins had six points, eight rebounds and six turnovers in the loss. But in Wallace, he found someone who sees great things from him in the future.”

Kentucky Sports Network: “Mike Hartline had a pretty decent game this week. It’s easy to look at his performance and say he was down, which is true based on the performances he put forth against Auburn and South Carolina, but his play this week was more than enough to get Kentucky a “W” for the game. He finished 15-23 on the day for 232 yards and a huge touchdown to Chris Matthews that basically put the game away for Kentucky. Some fans will continue to hate the man, but we have all been lucky to watch a guy with the type of grit Hartline has played with this year.”

Bleed Blue Kentucky: “Courtney Moshood (2011-WR/DB from Florida) holds offers from UAB and UK. However, other programs such as Duke, Cincinnati, UCF, FIU and others are showing interest. Courtney has not been cleared by the clearing house, but he feels everything will come together. It appears he transferred schools and there has been some issues with the transferring grades. Courtney informed schools are recruiting him to play either WR or CB. Currently Duke and UAB are recruiting him the hardest. “

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