- The second annual UK Hoops 5K run/walk took place Saturday morning at Memorial Coliseum. Despite rainy conditions, the event was once again a success as more than 300 runners braved the conditions to support the team, according to head coach Matthew Mitchell's twitter account. The overall winner of the 5K was Anthony Eaton from Lexington, who finished with an overall time of 18:57.49. The top female finisher was Tiffany Toler from Winchester at 22:36.40. Mitchell, who just weeks earlier boasted that he could capture the title this year, finished with a time from 25:09.88, an improvement from last year's run. UK football coach Joker Phillips (pictured above) served as the honorary starter.
- Former Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson, who I'm hoping to catch on the phone today for an interview, is writing a diary on SportsIllustrated.com on his experience with the NBA Draft. In it, Patterson, talks about wrestling with the decision to leave UK, why he came back last year, who he's currently working out with and more. It looks like Patterson is really enjoying himself. An excerpt from his time at UK is below.
"Once I decided to go pro, the last few days in Lexington were tough for me. Walking around campus, all the students and fans would ask me "Are you sure you want to leave?" It was surreal. One day I was getting into my car and I turned around and these two girls were standing right behind me. They were wearing homemade T-shirts; one of them said: "Our PP is bigger than yours." I thought it was funny so I agreed to take a picture with them. Next thing I know, a whole mob of people swarmed around me, all wearing shirts with my name on the front. They started chanting my name, taking pictures, it was wild. There was even a baby with a mini-version of one of the T-shirts. I'm just going to miss being loved by all the fans. Then again, I won't miss the 8 a.m. classes and long hours in study hall.
Last year I thought about the NBA, but I decided to come back because I just didn't feel like I was ready. Jodie Meeks was my roommate and he really tried to get me to go. Right around that time the NBA playoffs were going on, and I watched the Boston-Chicago series that went seven games. That's when I thought, "I'm not ready." I had hardly played on the perimeter and knew I needed to get better. That and knowing John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, DeMarcus Cousins were coming in to UK helped me make up my mind to come back."
- Speaking of Patterson, the future NBA ballplayer now has his own official website. You can check it out at patrickpatterson.com.
- News came out Friday that UK baseball underclassmen Chris Bisson (junior second baseman) and Matt Little (junior reliever) have signed MLB contracts. Bisson, a fourth-round pick, signed with the San Diego Padres, and Little, a 31st-round pick, signed with the Detroit Tigers. First and foremost, congratulations to both guys for getting the opportunity to fulfill their lifelong dreams. As far as UK is concerned, though, both signings obviously hurt the team. In losing Bisson, Kentucky loses its best overall hitter over the last two years. The departure of Little means head coach Gary Henderson will have another hole in the bullpen to plug. With the signing of Bisson, the graduation and signings of seniors Gunner Glad and Marcus Nidiffer, UK is now without its right side of its infield, its starting catcher and potentially its starting shortstop in Taylor Black, who was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 28th round but has yet to sign a contract. Departures to the MLB are expected and are a sign of a good ballclub, but year three is going to be a big year for Henderson and Co. A lot could ride on what Lance Ray does. Ray was UK's best hitter down the stretch but was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the eighth round. It remains to be seen what Ray will decide to do.
- The guys over at KentuckySportsRadio.com have some quotes from head coach John Calipari's media availability in Bardstown earlier in the week. Calipari provides some good stuff on everything from the NBA Draft to Kenny Payne and next season's game in Canada. An excerpt is below.
How much of an impact will it have for the team that you have people coming back who know the system?
"Big difference. Because they are not going to have the anxiety that the Freshman have and they will have an idea of how to do this and have a confidence level the Freshman dont have. Last year we had a whole new team. Not only did the Freshmen not know how we did things, the other guys didnt either. Last year, we shot a good percentage from the floor, had a good assist to turnover ratio and our defense was one of the best in the country and that happened with all new players. So what I am hoping is that we learn some new things with these guys but then take all those good qualities from last year and carry them over."