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Links, notes for the weekend

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- One question I've gotten from a few people since posting the video boards story from earlier is what UK plans to do with the names of former players and the "C.M. Newton Field" sign, given the new ribbons boards will cover them up. I'm being told that UK plans to honor those players and the sign somewhere in Commonwealth Stadium, although an exact location hasn't been designated yet.


- As I mentioned the other day, head coach John Calipari is out recruiting in the all-important summer evaluation period. And though he's not a fan of the summer recruiting period, Calipari spoke with Brett Dawson of Cats Illustrated the other day to talk a little bit about the process. A snippet of that conversation is below, but you'll have to check out the full Q and A at Cats Illustrated.

Q: You say you like watching basketball. What are you looking for when you watch players here?
I want to see guys' competitive spirit. I want to see that they make other players better, stuff like that. I want to see how they interact with their coaches. Their level of competitiveness is the most important thing. Do they have skill? Are they longer? How long are they? For us, the way we play, it's not really a position. I don't care. We could have four of the same guys as long as they're long and they can guard a position. Shooting is - I'm OK if they shoot it or don't shoot it. Doesn't matter. I'd rather they be able to make something, but I'm more concerned with how they play.


- Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (more on that below) are both at the LeBron James Skill Academy this week. While there, Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader caught up with Davis about Kentucky's national championship expectations. Here is what he had to say:

To hear Anthony Davis, the ongoing debate about whether a freshman-oriented team can win the national championship is rehashing a settled basketball issue.

"Any team can go and win a national championship," he said Thursday at the LeBron James Skills Academy. "You've just got to work hard."

For a third straight year under Coach John Calipari, Kentucky will seek a national championship with a team largely dependent on first-year players. Davis, one of those players in 2011-12, saw inexperience as no disqualifier.

"If we work hard, we can be a national champion," he said. "It's all about work ethic."


- Yes, Gilrchrist has in fact changed his name to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as a tribute to Darrin Kidd, his 45-year-old uncle and father figure who died of a heart attack on the day Gilchrist signed with UK. Gilchrist announced the change on Twitter on Thursday night. I'm hoping to speak with Gilchrist on the name change next week, but in the meantime, read Steve Jones' story on the Cats Illustrated, which features an interview with Gilchrist's mother.

The decision to change his name deeply touched Gilchrist's mother and Darrin Kidd's sister, Cindy Richardson.

"I just thought it was a really noble thing for him to do, something that he wanted to do for a man who was a very integral part of his life," Richardson, formerly Cindy Kidd, said in a telephone interview.


- ESPN blogger Chris Low has a short feature on passing game coordinator receivers coach Tee Martin on his Southeastern Conference blog. Here is an excerpt of Low's piece:

His challenge: Losing a talent like Cobb was one thing, but the Wildcats also lost Matthews. On top of it all, Kentucky will turn to junior Morgan Newton at quarterback, and this will be the first time he's gone into the season as the full-time starter. It wasn't a great spring for the Kentucky receivers, either. They dropped at least eight passes in the spring game, according to various reports. Junior La'Rod King will be counted on to step his game up, and Martin has made it clear to King that he needs him to be a leader this coming season. Sophomore Brian Adams, who doubled as a baseball player, was Kentucky's most consistent receiver this spring, but Martin and Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips want to see more consistency across the board in the way the Wildcats' receivers catch the ball. Martin will work hard to get some of the younger receivers ready, and the Wildcats are also keeping their fingers crossed that junior Gene McCaskill can come back and be a big factor in the passing game after missing all of last season with a torn ACL. The passing game as a whole was a priority this spring. Phillips was pleased with Newton's progress. Now it's on the receivers to make that same kind of progress come fall.


- And finally, fellow SEC blogger Edward Ashcoff discusses why sophomore running back Raymond Sanders will be so important to the UK football team this year in the following video.

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