Appearing on Kentucky Sports Radio on Thursday morning, Mark Stoops could not talk about the hiring of West Virginia’s Shannon Dawson as offensive coordinator because of legal issues, but gave some insight as to his thinking.
“I wanted some carryover,” Stoops said. “I felt like we are getting closer and closer to being a very good football team and being a much better offensive football team and defensive team.”
Former coordinator Neal Brown, now head coach at Troy, is a product of the Air Raid coaching tree, especially Tony Franklin. Dawson is a product of the Air Raid coaching tree, especially Dana Holgorsen.
When Brown came to UK from Texas Tech, he hired assistants that were steeped in the Air Raid scheme – running backs coach Chad Scott, offensive line coach John Schlarman and wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord.
Thursday night’s marquee game on the college basketball slate features Connecticut at No. 2 Duke at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, aka Duke’s home away from home.
The defending national champs, UConn got off to a 3-0 start before losing three straight. West Virginia beat the Huskies 78-68. Texas nipped Kevin Ollie’s team 55-54 n Storrs, then Yale upset UConn 45-44. After an eight-day break, Connecticut whipped Coppin State 106-85 last time out.
Duke is 9-0 and led by freshman sensation Jahlil Okafor, who is shooting 65.5 percent from the field and averaging 18 points and nine rebounds per game. The Blue Devils have played just once since winning 80-70 at Wisconsin on December. That was a 75-62 win over Elon on Monday night.
Here’s the list of college basketball games on television for Thursday:
Mark Stoops answered any and all questions Wednesday about whether the Kentucky football coach is really and truly all in on the Air Raid offense. He’s all in.
Kentucky and UCLA bring lots of basketball tradition to the floor when the two teams meet Saturday at the CBS Sports Classic in Chicago. The two powers have taken slightly different paths since their legendary coaching icons retired in the 1970s.
Because it falls under his job description, SEC director of communications Craig Pinkerton, who specializes in basketball, has tweeted Wednesday some statistical information boosting what some consider the lost cause that is SEC hoops.
It’s safe to say that this is John Wall’s breakthrough season in the NBA.
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Off its upset win over Butler on Sunday, Tennessee travels to North Carolina State, which highlights the college basketball games on television for Wednesday night.
Big Blue Links for Wednesday:
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes about John Calipari and the success of Kentucky’s platoon system. “Calipari called Joe Gibbs, Mike Tomlin and Bill Parcells to ask them how to manage two units – offense and defense, for football coaches – into a cohesive team. They told him the same thing: Show them how one side helps the other as often as possible. Be harder on the more successful unit.”
The great Mark Whicker writes for the Los Angeles Daily News that it could be a long year at UCLA if the young players don’t grow up quickly. “No, it hasn’t been a great beginning for the Bruins, whenever they poke their heads out of the Cal State portion of their schedule. They have played three teams of note — Oklahoma, North Carolina and Gonzaga — and lost to all three, although very few teams are going to beat or even compete with these Zags. It’s what happens when three of your 2013-14 players get taken in the first round of the NBA draft, but that happens at the Kentuckys and Dukes, and the tank gets refilled quickly.”
College basketball on television tonight:
- 7:00 – Oral Roberts at Oklahoma (ESPNU)
- 7:00 – North Carolina at UNC-Greensboro (ESPN2)
- 9:00 – Oakland at Arizona (Pac-12)
- 9:00 – Alabama at Wichita State (ESPN2)
- 9:00 – Middle Tennessee at Oklahoma State (ESPNU)
- 9:00 – Arizona State at Marquette (Fox Sprots 1)
- 9:00 – Western Carolina at Vanderbilt (SEC)