Big Blue Links for Tuesday:
As you would expect, Kentucky mashed Division II Ottawa 117-58 on Tuesday night at Rupp Arena. John Calipari started three guards. One of the three, Jamal Murray, nearly registered a triple-double. It wouldn’t have gone into the official record book. Exhibitions don’t count. Still, it would have been a head-turning feat. Chris Mills is the only Cat with a triple-double in an actual game.
Kentucky is No. 2 in the preseason AP college basketball poll. North Carolina is No. 1, dadgum it, followed by Calipari’s Cats, then Maryland, Kansas and defending champion Duke. UK plays Duke in Chicago two weeks from now. Louisville did not make the pre-season poll.
Freshmen filled the stat sheet for Kentucky in the romp over Ottawa. There was Murray’s flirtation with a triple-double. Skal Labissiere had a nice night. Etc, etc, etc.
The honeymoon is over for Mark Stoops, in his third year as Kentucky football coach, writes Mark Story. Crushed by Tennessee’s Big Orange 52-21 last Saturday, the Cats now face a tough trip to Georgia on Saturday. Mark Story says the season is still salvageable.
Boom Williams will miss the trip to Athens. The Kentucky running back, who hails from Georgia, will miss the Georgia game, Stoops said Monday. The coach wouldn’t divulge the exact extent of Williams’ ailment, but he did say that UK’s leading rusher is week to week.
Georgia has its own problems after that 27-3 loss to Florida last Saturday. The Bulldogs trailed 20-0 at the half. They also started a junior making his first collegiate start at quarterback. He threw four interceptions. Ouch. This has not gone over well in Dawg Nation.
Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that it’s time for Georgia and coach Mark Richt to part ways. “These Bulldogs could finish the regular season 9-3, but those nine wins would be empty calories. They’d add nothing of nutritional value and satisfy no hunger. The lasting memory of October’s Alabama and Florida games – one in the rain, the other in sunshine – was how Bulldog Nation began vacating the premises before halftime. That’s how we know this has reached the point of diminishing returns: Even Georgia fans can’t bear to watch Georgia.”
The big SEC game this week is Alabama-LSU in Tuscaloosa, at 8 p.m. Saturday on CBS. The Tide has some injury problems before the Tigers roll into town. Nick Saban’s team needs a healthy defense to contend with the freight train that is LSU running back Leonard Fournette.
It’s a messy situation at Auburn, where baseball coach Sunny Galloway was fired. Galloway hit back at the university with a news conference Tuesday. He denied various allegations that might or might not have led to his firing. He’s not going quietly.
The Bleacher Report has five “bold” predictions for Kentucky basketball, because that’s what the Bleacher Report does. It’s a slideshow, by the way.
Kentucky-Vanderbilt football on Nov. 14 will kick at 4 p.m. in Nashville. The SEC Network is again on the case.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 2, 2015