Big Blue Links for Monday:
- Mike Rutherford of Card Chronicle offers 11 Monday morning thoughts after Louisville’s loss to the Cats. Here is No. 4.
4. Speaking of Julius Randle, that young man is just as good as advertised. Every time it seemed like Louisville had seized or was about to seize momentum, he came up with a basket in the paint that was almost impossible to defend. The fact that the Cats actually pulled away after he had to leave the game was more than a little disheartening.
Randle played poorly against North Carolina and was way too timid early on in UK’s loss to Michigan State, but this was sort of a coming of age game (again, before he had to sit out) for a guy whose pro potential has never been questioned.
I also have a little bit of a rivalry crush on Willie Cauley-Stein. His length is staggering and he moves incredibly well for someone that size. There were multiple times where one of Louisville’s guards got in a 1-on-1 situation with WCS and felt the need to try and take advantage of it, and not once did it work out well for the Cards. He’s also a seriously funny dude who would be adored if he suited up for the good guys.
- Kentucky-Vanderbilt game Nov. 11 in Nashville will now tip at 3:30 p.m. and be televised by CBS.
- Former UK running back Dyshawn Mobley is apparently transferring to EKU.
My bro Dyshawn is transferring to EKU, we about to eat on the field
— EKU’s Finest. (@PatGraffree40) December 30, 2013
- AP state voter Rick Bozich has UK at No. 13 and Louisville at No. 15 in this week’s ballot.
- Louisville is still No. 1 while Kentucky is No. 9 in the Ken Pomeroy rankings.
- College Basketball Talk moved UK up from No. 16 to No. 13 and has Louisville at No. 14 in its rankings.
- As Tennessee prepares to play Virginia tonight, Patrick Brown of the Chattanooga Times Free Press writes on how Jarnell Stokes has had trouble against length.
Jarnell Stokes openly acknowledges one of his basketball vices. Tennessee’s big forward is averaging a double-double this season, but he’s struggled against taller, longer defenders at times during the Volunteers’ 7-4 start to a season that began with high expectations. In his search for a solution, Stokes has turned to watching some of the NBA’s best power forwards — specifically Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Memphis’ Zach Randolph and Indiana’s David West — to see how they attack taller defenders.
- Upcoming SEC men’s basketball schedule:
- Monday – Marshall at South Carolina 7:00 PM CSS
- Monday – Virginia at Tennessee 7:00 PM ESPN2
- Monday – Ole Miss at WKU 8:00 PM
- Monday – Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Auburn 9:00 PM CSS
- Monday – Saint Louis at Vanderbilt 9:00 PM ESPNU
- Tuesday - North Texas at Texas A&M 5:30 PM FSN
- Ken Howlett of A Sea of Blue on thinking that Kentucky couldn’t win without Randle.
I didn’t jump up and down, bemoaning the fate of the ‘Cats. I didn’t rave against the terrible luck. I simply picked up my phone, panic now in charge, and quickly texted my father, “No way we win without Randle.” And I meant it. With Randle sidelined, I didn’t think UK’s guards could do what John Calipari needed them to do — take over the game. I just knew Chris Jones and Russ Smith would start popping 3-pointers like Reece Gaines and DeJuan Wheat. “These guys are streaky shooters, and Randle being gone might be the boost they need to get going,” was rolling through my mind. In that moment, I simply liked UofL’s guards better than UK’s.
- Stan Awtrey of the Macon Telegraph previews today’s Music City Bowl match-up between Ole Miss and Georgia Tech.
- SEC Bowl schedule this week:
- Monday – Music City Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech 3:15 ESPN
- Tuesday – Liberty Bowl: Rice vs. Mississippi State 4:00 ESPN
- Tuesday – Chick-fil-A Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Duke 8:00 ESPN
- Wednesday – Gator Bowl: Georgia vs. Nebraska 12:00 ESPN2
- Wednesday – Captial One Bowl: Wisconsin vs. South Carolina 1:00 ABC
- Wednesday – Outback Bowl: Iowa vs. LSU 1:00 ESPN
- Thursday – Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Oklahoma 8:30 ESPN
- Friday – Cotton Bowl: Missouri vs. Oklahoma State 7:30 FOX
- Saturday – BBVA Compass Bowl: Vanderbilt vs. Houston 1:00 ESPN
- Jan. 6 – BCS Title Game: Florida State vs. Auburn 8:30 ESPN
- The Rex Chapman tweet of the day.
— Rex Chapman (@rexchapman) December 30, 2013
- Randall Cobb on that 48-yard catch with 38 seconds left to give Green Bay the division-clinching win over Chicago: “Oh my gosh, it was in the air so long, I had so many thoughts go through my head,” Cobb said. ‘You better not drop it, you drop it they’re going to kill you. You better catch it. Just catch the ball. Body catch it if you have to. Do whatever you have to do.’ And I was able to make the catch.”
- If for some reason, you haven’t seen the play, click on the image below.
- The Bengals will play San Diego on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. in a Wild Card Playoff game. Cincinnati beat Baltimore 34-17 yesterday despite four interceptions from quarterback Andy Dalton. Joe Reedy of the Enqurier writes:
There were a career-high four interceptions, with none of them being great throws. If you are looking for some positives, Dalton bounced back from picks on his first two possessions and was 21 of 36 for 281 yards and two touchdowns. The 62.2 passer rating marks his second-lowest in a winning performance. “He did some really poor things, but overall he made some plays today that were very impressive,” offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said.
- I know it’s cold outside, but how about a baseball link? Here’s Richard Justice on the never-ending debate over Joey Votto’s approach to hitting.
Some people think it would be a good idea for Reds first baseman Joey Votto to make more outs. To get on base less. To help out the opposition. At least, I think that would be the intent. Friends, you can’t make this stuff up. National League pitchers have to love this suggestion. If Votto is going to start getting himself out, their jobs suddenly become easier. How does this nonsense get started anyway? Are some of you bored? I’m as ready for Spring Training as the next guy, but let’s not get silly.
- If you haven’t checked out the Herald-Leader photo gallery from UK-U of L, you really should.
- In case you missed Jerry Tipton’s notebook from Sunday, he writes about the Rupp Arena renovation’s numbers game.
Planning for the re-invention of Rupp, which is part of Gray’s vision to revitalize downtown Lexington, is nearing a boiling point. It shouldn’t be long before we know the details of what a new Rupp Arena would look like and, more importantly, how the city expects to pay for the project. Maintaining the capacity of 23,000 remains important to Kentucky’s athletics department leaders, Gray said. So that’s a must. Chair-back seats would enhance the fan experience, which is a point of emphasis for Gray.
- My favorite moment from the Cowboys’ loss to the Eagles last night was the guy pulling his sweater over his head in the back of Jerry Jones box after Kyle Orton threw that interception.
Sometimes you’re so angry, you just have to go skins. pic.twitter.com/Rqrqladyg9
— Thomas Beisner (@thomasbeisner) December 30, 2013
Links of interest