BBL: Tubby Smith’s speech; Gators come to town

Big Blue Links and sentences for Saturday:

  • “Tubby Smith commanded everyone’s attention by mentioning who wasn’t in this Lexington hotel ballroom. John Stewart, the promising 7-foot recruit who collapsed and died in a high school game as Kentucky prepared to play an NCAA Tournament game.” [Jerry Tipton]
  • “The Gators, who have won 26 in a row over Kentucky, lead the Southeastern Conference in every defensive statistical category, including total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense, passing defense and pass efficiency defense.” [Jennifer Smith]
  • “Only four games into their schedule, the No. 20 Florida Gators have already endured a season’s worth (or more) of change and adversity.” [Gainesville Sun]
  • “For so many Kentucky players, Joker Phillips will be remembered as the coach who gave them their first shot.” [Jennifer Smith]
  • “Since beating Spurrier and No. 10 South Carolina, Kentucky has lost 11 consecutive games against ranked opponents, spanning 1,172 days.” [Kyle Tucker]
  • “Javess Blue has had an immediate impact since arriving at Kentucky and the Wildcats are reaping benefits from the junior’s rapid transition.” [Associated Press]
  • More Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame speeches. [Cat Scratches]
  • “There might not be a bigger key to Saturday’s game than Kentucky’s third-down woes and Florida’s stifling third-down defense.” [Cats Illustrated]
  • “Clark Atlanta University has parted ways with head men’s basketball coach Dale Brown.”  [All KY Hoops]
  • “Joker Phillips was born in Kentucky, met his wife in Kentucky, played football at Kentucky and coached at Kentucky. Phillips’ blood is as Kentucky bluegrass as it gets.” [Orlando Sentinel]
  • “Basketball enthusiasts in Kentucky have long proclaimed that the commonwealth is America’s college hoops capital. Tough luck, North Carolina, but from 2008-09 through last season, the Bluegrass State has lived up to that claim.” [Mark Story]
  • “The pundits all have to have their takes and a vocal minority has the Cats pulling a big surprise out of their collective hat today.” [A Sea of Blue]
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