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Web Wednesday: Bring out the pads 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


Football: ESPN rates Trevathan the SEC's 17th best player (ESPN.com Edward Aschoff)
Making the case for Trevathan: Talk about someone having a true nose for the ball. Trevathan has accumulated 226 tackles in the past two seasons and has been the best player on Kentucky's defense in that time. Trevathan doesn't just find players with the ball, he flies at them with his 6-foot-1, 234-pound frame. Trevathan might be the heart of Kentucky's defense, but his main goal during the offseason was to become more of a leader. In his final season in Lexington, Trevathan wants to not only wreak havoc on opposing offenses but he wants to elevate the play of his teammates around him.

Football: Glenn Faulkner has clearance for takeoff (Michael Grant, Courier-Journal)

Faulkner idolizes Baltimore Ravens All-Pro safety Ed Reed, but he also admires another player. He will wear No.18 in part because of former Wildcat Randall Cobb.

Faulkner hopes to make an impact defensively the way Cobb sparked the offense.

"What can I say?" Faulkner said. "Randall influenced me big time. I came down here and I fell in love with him. Randall is an outstanding football player. He's one of my idols. I'm going to do my best to make his jersey live on."

 

Men's basketball: Calipari and the new NBA nexus (Matt Moore, CBS Sports)

Let's get right to the point. In the list of people who influence the NBA, John Calipari isn't at the top. But the empire he's built and transferred to Kentucky to expand may be the center of the NBA universe outside of New York and Miami. And if you want proof, you only need to look at what's going on in Lexington this summer.

We start with the expected, another stellar team from Calipari. But this one, it's a little bit more than even the normal outstanding classes of prospects Calipari produces each year. In addition to Terrence Jones, who would have been a first-rounder this year had he elected to jump, the 2011-2012 Kentucky Wildcats feature three players CBSSports.com placed in the top ten of a 2012 mock draft, and four in the first round. Anthony Davis is considered by many to be the number one overall pick next year, Michael Gilchrist is talked about as being potentially just as good. Marquis Teague is plotted as a mid-first rounder (which means he could very easily wind up in the lottery). Only Doron Lamb, who Calipari has called the best player on this year's Kentucky team, isn't expected to go in the first round.

Football: Backups readying behind Newton (James Pennington, The Cats' Pause) 

(Maxwell Smith) will be ready if something happens to Morgan Newton, who Smith acknowledges has a comfortable hold on the No. 1 spot.

"I'm just working hard. If anything happens, I've got to be ready," Smith said. "I can't let the team down, the coaches down or the fans down. I have to be prepared. That's what I've been trying to do since the minute I got here in January."

Kentucky's third-string quarterback, freshman Bookie Cobbins, offers a polarizing contrast from Smith. Cobbins is considerably smaller, listed at 6-foot-0 and 187 pounds. Smith said he models his game after Tom Brady and Sam Bradford; Cobbins is a dual-threat passer who said he compares himself to former Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor. "But I like throwing it more than him," Cobbins said.


Men's basketball: Summer buzz: Kentucky Wildcats (Eamonn Brennan, ESPN)

There might be some growing pains on offense, but it'll come. The truly scary bit is what the Cats appear capable of doing on defense. Of course, Calipari-coached teams always defend; since 2006, only two of his squads have finished lower than No. 10 in Ken Pomeroy's adjusted defensive efficiency rankings. (Those years were 2007, when Memphis ranked No. 11, and 2011, when Kentucky ranked No. 15.) Calipari has a rare coaching talent, one that's often overshadowed by what Basketball Prospectus writer Kevin Pelton once dubbed his "Calipari-ness." The dude can coach defense. More accurately, Calipari might be the best coach in the country at getting the talented stars of the AAU circuit -- he inherits a new batch of elite freshmen every year, especially at UK -- to buy in on the defensive end.


Football: Raymond Sanders ready to be No. 1 tailback (Larry Vaught, Danville Advocate-Messenger)

For as long as he can remember, Raymond Sanders has been told why he's too small to be a big-time football player.

Yet going into his sophomore season, the 5-8 Sanders is poised to be Kentucky's starting tailback after a solid all-around freshman campaign in which he ran for 254 yards and three touchdowns on 68 attempts and caught 16 passes for 114 yards and another score.

"I have been dealing with that my whole life. My mom always told me it was not the size of the dog but the size of the fight in the dog," Sanders said. "I have a bunch of heart. Everyone knows that. I am not going to back down from anyone. I don't care how big you are.

Men's basketball: Teague excels at adidas Nations (Aran Smith, NBADraft.net)
Marquis Teague has been the best college guard by a long shot. He's shown the ability to find teammates on the break, he handles the ball on a string, and his strength allows him to finish in the paint. At times he got a little erratic going for flashy plays and making turnovers but displayed some solid playmaking skills for others, which seems to be the biggest debate over his long term potential.

Football: Lowery ready for leap to college (Mark Story, Lexington Herald-Leader)
With strong safety Winston Guy moving to linebacker, with promising Dakotah Tyler not enrolled in school for the fall semester and with free safety Mychal Bailey suspended for the season's first game, true freshman safeties Lowery and Glenn Faulkner (the top-rated prospect last season in Illinois) have a viable chance to play right away.

Says Lowery: "I'd like that. But I've got to work hard, figure everything out, get in the groove. Then we'll see."

Men's basketball: Calipari calls Lamb "our best basketball player" (Andy Katz, ESPN)
Calipari said the 6-foot-4 Lamb worked on his ballhandling extensively in the offseason. He said he has seen him mature off the court as well. Lamb did score 32 points with seven 3s in a win over Winthrop last season, so it's not like he hasn't shown the ability. But he had plenty of single-digit scoring outputs and his minutes fluctuated.

"In my opinion, he's going to be one of the top-15 players in the country,'' Calipari said. "He was a freshman last season and it's hard for those guys to be consistent. The same thing occurred for Terrence Jones. [Lamb] has a great feel for the game. He was here for most of the summer and is now home for three weeks in New York before school starts. These are a big three weeks for him.''

 

Former Wildcats making headlines

Explosive Randall Cobb has mental grasp of game (Tyler Dunne, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

One week into his pro career, Cobb has dazzled. The speed, the hands, the athleticism. The Green Bay Packers' second-round pick has been a pay-per-view attraction from Day 1.

On a loaded receiving corps, Cobb could become an X-and-O nightmare, a wild card on a Super Bowl offense. And the true reason isn't seen on the football field, rather, inside the classroom.

Cobb is a student of the game. By far, that's his greatest weapon.

"I'm a film junkie," Cobb said. "I like to know the system, everything. I'm trying to learn all the aspects of the offense. Not just the plays."

John Wall sounds off in ESPN the Magazine

JOHN WALL, WIZARDS
"Find out who your real friends are. Sometimes it seems like the person you're hanging with is the right person to be around, and then all of a sudden he might change or betray you. It can be tough, but find the right people."

Preston LeMaster named head coach at East Ridge High School (Alan Cutler, LEX18)

After three years as an assistant basketball coach at Bourbon Co. and Powell Co., Preston LeMaster is getting his dream come true. He is the Head Coach at East Ridge High School in Lick Creek, Kentucky.

It isn't everyday that as a reporter you get to talk to anyone this happy.

"I am very excited," says the former UK walk on who wore the same number as his father did when he played for UK.

 

News from UKathletics.com

Swimming and diving: Three divers set to compete in AT&T Diving Championships

Women's volleyball: Wildcats take hardwood for first practice

Men's soccer: Getting to know Brad Walker

Women's soccer: Getting to know Kayla Price and Stuart Pope

Baseball: Trevor Gott named Cape Reliever of the Year

Tweet of the week

UK Hoops got some good news off the court today as head coach Matthew Mitchell and his wife Jenna Mitchell gave birth to a newborn daughter.

"We want to thank God for sending Saylor Rose to us very healthy and very happy! God is good! Saylor & @jennaRmitchell are doing great!" - @UKCoachMitchell

"Congrats to @UKCoachMitchell & @jennaRmitchell on the birth of their daughter Saylor Rose Mitchell this morning! She was 5 lbs 12 oz." - @UKHoopCats (the official Twitter of UK Hoops)

"Congrats to @UKCoachMitchell & his wife Jenna on the birth of their daughter, Saylor Rose. Mom & Saylor are fine but Matthew is day-to-day." - @UKCoachCalipari

Video of the week

We've had plenty of written and video content from football media day last Friday, but here is a video produced by Cats Illustrated that has some audio and visual highlights.

 

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