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Web Wednesday: Super Regional edition

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Each Wednesday here at Cat Scratches, we're going to take a look back at the latest week's news in UK Athletics from around the web.

Best on the 'net

Softball: Super Regional preview (Graham Hays, ESPN)
Best sleeper: Kentucky
Granted, only very sound sleepers are still dozing on the Wildcats after they made use of a nationally televised spotlight to twice beat No. 10 Michigan in Ann Arbor and advance to the program's first super regional in dramatic fashion. But the Wildcats are unseeded as they prepare to host No. 7 California, and they may still reside a little closer to "nice story" than "championship contender" in the minds of a lot of outside observers. But take away the unfamiliarity of Kentucky colors playing over Memorial Day weekend, and this looks more like a team with the potential to still be playing a week after Memorial Day than a team lucky to be playing instead of barbecuing over the holiday.

Men's tennis: Trojans end UK's run in quarterfinals (Lexington Herald-Leader)
In its fourth trip to the NCAA quarterfinals in school history, the Kentucky men's tennis team fell again to two-time defending national champion Southern California, 4-1 at Stanford on Saturday.

"I love the way our guys fought," UK Coach Dennis Emery said. "This team has a lot of pride for each other and for playing for Kentucky, and I know we gave a good effort today."

Men's basketball: Calipari: UK to be "really good" next year (Jerry Tipton, Herald-Leader)
No coaching caution for John Calipari when he envisions the Kentucky team for 2011-12.

"We're going to have a good team," he said in speaking to reporters before the Dick Vitale Gala on Friday night. "Usually, I don't say that, but put that down. We're going to have a really good team."

A third straight No. 1 recruiting class comes to UK this coming season. Anthony Davis, Michael Gilchrist and Marquis Teague -- all rated among the top 10 prospects in the high school class of 2011 -- join holdover veterans Darius Miller, Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones.

Softball: Lawson, UK two wins away from WCWS (Jennifer Smith, Herald-Leader)
"If you'd have asked me four years ago if I'd be sitting here one weekend away from the World Series, I think I would have smiled at that one," she said.

Lawson has been a big reason for the program's success, which has included three consecutive 30-plus-win seasons and a school-record 39 wins this season.

Men's basketball: Why Germany could help win a title in Lexington (Aaron Smith, Kentucky Kernel)
Teague and Gilchrist, and the rest of the team, encountered a feeling of displacement in Germany. It was inevitable; teenagers less than a year removed from being driving-legal were flown across the Atlantic Ocean to play basketball.

A heat wave pushed temperatures in Germany around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The hotel rooms, only accustomed to typical northern hemisphere weather, had no air conditioning. The food was different - although there were McDonald's, which the team went to frequently to keep some semblance of normalcy in their lives.

"You take them out of what they're used to, then you see what those kids are made of in those situations," Showalter said. "And Teague and Gilchrist came through with flying colors."

Men's basketball: Calipari pleased by APR scores (CoachCal.com)
On Tuesday, we received our annual Academic Performance Rate from the NCAA. It gives me great joy to see Kentucky's name alongside Vanderbilt's atop the SEC's APR standings. This is a reflection of what teamwork throughout our program and within our exceptional athletic department is capable of producing off the court. It truly is as important as our on-court success over the past two seasons (trips to the Eilte 8 and the Final 4).

Swimming and diving: Lindsay Lash swims to success (Jenny Wells, UKnow)
While studying elementary education, competing on UK's swimming and diving team, and teaching swimming lessons in the summer, one would never guess that Lash is also living with a disability.

Lash has a moderate-to-severe hearing impairment that has been the source of many struggles for her throughout her life.  While she now benefits from wearing hearing aids and the support from her professors and mentors, she hasn't always been so open to receiving help.

"I briefly wore hearing aids in high school, but I stopped because I was so self-conscious," Lash said.  "I eventually taught myself how to lip read, but when I got to college that wasn't always an option, being in large lecture halls and all."

Former Wildcats making headlines


Fatherhood changed Liggins (Brett Dawson, Cats Illustrated)
"When I knew I was going to become a father, my whole mindset changed," Liggins said this week at the NBA Draft Combine. "How hard I worked, what I did off the court, how I presented myself, how I talked to people -- all that came into play knowing I was having a son, because he needed a role model to look up to, and I wanted to be that."

Fatherhood wasn't the only factor in Liggins' decision to turn pro after three seasons at UK (despite pedestrian career offensive numbers), but it was the most significant.

Kanter, Knight boost stock at NBA combine (David Aldridge, NBA.com)
1) Enes Kanter, F/C, Fenerbahce (Turkey): By far, more teams were impressed with this young big than anyone else who attended the combine. They love the fact that he was willing to take part in drills (though he probably didn't have a choice, since no one has seen him play in more than a year, having been declared ineligible to play for Kentucky). They love how hard he played. One gym rat at Tim Grover's Attack Athletics who's seen Kanter work out all season said that the more there is contact, the more Kanter likes it. And that seemed to be the case in Chicago. Still don't see him going with the first pick overall, but anything after that would not surprise. (His camp must obviously think he's not getting past Cleveland, which has the fourth pick as well as the top selection -- or, at least that's the impression they're trying to create by having him skip an interview with Toronto, picking fifth.)

Is Knight next in line to impact NBA? (Chris Tomasson, Miami Herald)
Now Calipari has mentored Knight, who declared for the NBA Draft after his freshman year with the Wildcats. Knight, a former standout at Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest High, could be taken as high as No.3 by Utah in the June 23 draft.

Although he won't be drafted No. 1 overall, as Rose and Wall were, Knight thinks he can make immediate impact like they did.

"Yeah, I believe so,'' Knight said Friday at the NBA Combine, which began Wednesday and concluded Saturday in Chicago. "That's my goal. That's what I want to do with whatever team I go to."

News from UKathletics.com

Softball: Lawson and players preview Cal series

Baseball: Three Wildcats tabbed All-SEC

Men's soccer: Spring season recap

Women's soccer: UK releases 2011 schedule


Video of the week

With a very slow part of the year nearly upon us, it's time to start looking forward to next season. Here is the latest highlight video from the next in line among John Calipari point guards, Marquis Teague. Highlight videos bear the name "highlight videos" for a reason, but this gives you an idea of the quickness, athleticism and passing ability that Teague will bring to Rupp.

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