Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Northwood VS. UK preview

   Kentucky fans have waited for this day since the final notes of  'One Shining Moment' ended on Bourbon Street last April. Finally, it's basketball season in the Bluegrass. Kentucky opens up exhibition play against the NAIA pre-season #1 ranked Northwood University Seahawks tomorrow night. Coaching Northwood is Rollie Massimino. Now, some might wander why that matters. Well, it could be because the last time Massimino was in Rupp Rena, he was hoisting the 1985 NCAA Championship trophy as the headman of Villanova by defeating Georgetown 66-64. So it's safe to say, Massimino won't be intimidated by the atmosphere in Rupp. All joking aside, it will be good to see him back in Rupp for a stroll down memory lane. 

   Standing in Rollie's way of reliving his NCAA championship victory is the #3 ranked team in the country. Calipari will display his almost entirely new team to the nation against a team that lost in the NAIA Championship game last year, and is the favorite to win this year.  Sure, it's an exhibition game, but this is not a horrible team. They are well coached, experienced, and you know how teams like this always seem to come into Rupp and play like the Lakers. This should be a very good test for a very young Kentucky team. If the game is close don't panic, this same team was down only 6 to Michigan State at halftime last night. So they have the ability to keep it close. 

   The fun part is going to be watching Cal play his version of the "twin towers" with Noel and Cauley-Stein. With Northwood not having a player over 6'9, that could be a major advantage to say the least. All in all, I look for Kentucky to get the win, but don't know if it will be as easy as we would like to see in an exhibition game. But you must remember, the most experienced player returning on this team is Kyle Wiltjer. So, there is bound to be some bumps along the way. With Maryland and Duke being the first two regular season games, these guys had better figure things out in a hurry. So relax Cat fans. You no longer have to pretend you are enjoying the football season, basketball is here. 

We' ll be back after the game to talk about it...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Andrew Wiggins to reclassify to 2013

Dave Telep is reporting that Huntington Prep standout, and the best high school player in recent memory will reclassify to the 2013 class. This will put Andrew as the #1 ranked player in 2013 moving Jabari Parker to #2. 

Things just got interesting folks.......

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Andrew Wiggins update

Just spoke with a source close to Andrew Wiggins, and there is still no word on him reclassifying...YET. Andrew wants to participate in the McDonalds All-American game. For that to be possible, he has to decide by Nov. 1 if he is going to reclassify, so we should hear something any day now. 

  Now to the reason for all the uproar today about Wiggins' recruitment. Andrew talked to recruiting guru Evan Daniels yesterday and said he wanted to invite other major schools ( Kansas, UNC, and Ohio State ) to recruit him. The reason for this statement was because everyone thought it was a two horse race between UK, and Florida State for Wiggins' services. The fact is, that was just everyones assumption, Andrew nor anyone close to him said it was between those two schools. Because of this assumption, one has to believe the other schools didn't feel the need to show much interest. Andrew was letting it be known that his recruitment is "wide open" at this point. UNC, Kansas, and Ohio State was always recruiting Wiggins that's nothing new, just not as heavy as UK and FSU.  After the "wide open" statement, I imagine the heat from those schools, and others will pick up tremendously now. 

On the heels of this news, Roy Williams was in Huntington, WV today to visit with Andrew, and I'm told the visit "went well". No matter if Andrew reclassifies or not there's one thing you can bet on, two schools that will be in it until the bitter end will be Kentucky and Florida State. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rick Pitino said what...

   During Big East media day, Rick Pitino made some comments i found very entertaining. During one of his many interviews Pitino said "I'd much rather have players like this a three year, and a four year player"  pointing to Siva and Dieng when discussing recruiting one and done players. The reason I found this hilarious is because, if I'm not mistaking, Pitino tried everything he could to get a commitment from one and done Marquis Teague. Not to mention, the reason Kentucky is waiting on a ruling from the NCAA concerning Nerlens Noel (who is also considered to be one and done), is because they want to know who paid for his unofficial visit to Louisville. 

   The fun didn't stop there either. He went on to say this little gem, " If I could do what Kentucky can do, I would certainly want the talent they have. But I can't do it. It's not my makeup".  It's not your makeup? Having players like Anthony Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Marquis Teague isn't what you want? Okay, explain that to your fanbase. Explain to them, that you would turn down the last three classes Calipari signed while at Kentucky to take a team full of  Peyton Siva's. The only stud Pitino has recruited the last three years is Gorgui Dieng while striking out with many others. Look at the 2013 class. You have to drop all the way to #46 (according to Rivals) to find Louisville's first commitment, but that's what Rick wants I guess.

Maryland to honor Brooklyn Dodgers

Yes you read the title of this post right. On Nov. 9, when Maryland and Kentucky meet in Brooklyn, NY to open the Barclays center, these are the uniforms Maryland will be wearing. They are supposed to have the appearance of wool, however,  I'm not sure that's what people will think these things have the appearance of.

  Not only are these the most hideous uniforms I have ever seen ( even worse than the UK denim), but could someone explain to me why on earth Maryland would be honoring the Brooklyn Dodgers?

Side note, I do kinda dig the shoes. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Calipari is embarrassing Kentucky

   First off, yes I used this picture last night, and yes I'm using it again, it's just that awesome... Deal with it. 

  Now let's get to the point of this post. Last week it was the Harrison twins, this week it's James Young, and Calipari is just getting started with the 2013 class. Will it ever stop? John Calipari is making recruiting look so easy, he is embarrassing the program. I mean, to constantly hear " next season I'll be playing for the University of Kentucky"  is getting a little annoying for the other programs. Just because other schools can't do what Kentucky and Coach Cal is doing doesn't mean we should rub their faces in it. Every week on ESPNU's Recruiting Nation, there is some top 10 recruit committing to Kentucky. If this trend continues, just change the shows name from "Recruiting Nation" to, "KENTUCKY'S Recruiting Nation" and get it over with. 

In the words of the guys hosting KENTUCKY'S Recruiting Nation, "too many people are finishing second to Kentucky. Someone needs to figure out how to slow this train down". Yeah... Good luck with that. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Calipari and Charlie Sheen

This is the best pic I have seen in a while. Two of my favorite people, John Calipari and Charlie Sheen.

Funny thing is Coach Cal used the "hash tag" #winning. Enough said

Andrew Wiggins can play

  Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a closed practice of Huntington Prep in Huntingon WV. Huntington Prep, as many of you know, is the high school home of one Mr. Andrew Wiggins, and incase you didn't already know, Andrew is pretty good.  

   First off, let me start by thanking Coach Rob Fulford and his staff for allowing us to attend his teams practice. In my opinion, it would be hard to find a nicer, more down to earth bunch guys than coach Fulford and his staff. The staff took time, answered any questions we had, and generally made us feel right at home. So thanks again guys. 

   Now to the reason anyone would go to see a Huntington Prep practice, Andrew Wiggins. I have heard a lot of people say different things when describing Andrew, but one that keeps coming up is " he's the best high school player since LeBron James". Even though I didn't get a chance to see LeBron in person during his high school career, I did watch a lot of video of him then. And I got to admit, that comparison isn't far off, this kid just oozes talent. Everything he does on the court just looks completely effortless. From doing a simple crossover, to pulling up and draining jumpers from well beyond three point range, Andrew just makes it look easy. We stayed for the entire hour of practice, and I don't think the kid missed more than two or three shots the whole time. He's quick from one end of the floor to the other, and has a very good handle with the ball. When Andrew dunks the ball, the kid is looking down on the rim. Very impressive. 

    One thing I noticed,  is Andrew is a very humble kid, and doesn't seem to have any attitude what so ever when it comes to listening to his coach. That goes for the entire Huntington Prep team, they are a very disciplined team, and you can tell by watching them practice. Everyone on the team is constantly encouraging the other teammates, and push each other hard on every drill. I think that speaks volumes to what kind of coach Rob Fulford is and the staff he has. They work on everything from the basics of setting a screen, running a pick and roll, pick and pop, to having each player practice taking a charge. This was one of the most technical practice sessions I have seen in a long time.  It was a true pleasure to watch to say the least. 

   I didn't get a chance to speak with Andrew while I was there, but I can tell you this. Whichever school on his list is lucky enough to land him will not only be getting the best player in the country, but they will also be getting a good student, a well coached athlete, and an all around good kid. 

    Living just across the bridge from Huntington in Ashland, Kentucky, I really hope I get the chance to watch this kid in a few games this season. Because lets be honest, how often do you get to watch the best player in the country five minutes from your house? 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Harrison twins pick Kentucky

After a little nervousness, and sitting through half an hour of useless football recruiting news. The best set of basketball playing twins in recent memory has committed to the University of Kentucky, giving Coach Cal what will more than likely be his unheard of 5th straight #1 recruiting class.

Just seconds after their announcement, #Harrisontwins, Aaron and Andrew Harrison, and Coach Cal were all trending worldwide on twitter.

In the words of coach Cal "you people are crazy!"

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wiggins to attended Big Blue Madness

Andrew Wiggins will be attending Kentucky's Big Blue Madness on Friday Oct. 12, along with a host of other top recruits. Now why is this important? Well, it could have a lot to do with the fact, Wiggins is widely considered the best basketball player in high school regardless of class. Or, it could also be because some  say ( I have heard this myself ) that Wiggins is the best scorer in high school basketball since LeBron James. 

Currently Wiggins is in the class of 2014, but most think that he will reclassify to 2013. If that happens, it's VERY likely that Kentucky could land the #1, #3, #4, #5 and #8 ranked players in the class of 2013 making it, without question, the greatest class (on paper at least) to ever be assembled in college basketball history. 

   So as usual since the arrival of John Calipari, Big Bue Madness is where the best players in the country will be.  Let's hope it leaves a good impression. 

Harrison twins decision Thursday

The Harrison twins originally set their announcement date for October 29
th, but that has changed. The twins say they have made their decision, and will announce Thursday at 5pm on ESPNU.

With Maryland making a last minute in home visit with the Harrison's Wednesday, ones gotta think this looks good for the Cats. We will find out for sure Thursday.

UofL's Mike Marra out for season

ESPN reported on 9-28-12 that Louisville senior Mike Marra tore his ACL again in practice. This is the same ACL Marra has torn before.

In a radio interview on WHAS 840am Louisville coach Rick Pitino said "An unfortunate thing happened today. We've been working Mike Marra out individually for the past two months and he passed all the tests. Literally in the first ten minutes of practice, he blew out the same knee with an ACL."

With this injury, Marra's career is more than likely over. I always hate to see things like this happen to anyone, so we here at Big Blue Corner wish him a speedy recovery.