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Web Wednesday - Baseball back on track in Hoover 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

Baseball: A.J. Reed does it all in UK's 2-0 win (The Courier-Journal)

Reed (5-2) had only three hits in his previous 22 at-bats going into the game, but he gave himself the only run he needed when he launched a drive over the right-field fence for a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. It was his fourth home run.

"I have been struggling a little bit the past couple of weeks," he said. "Going out there and having some success on the mound built my confidence. It also showed me that my team still trusts me, and Coach (Gary Henderson) gave me a second chance to come out and perform well."

Baseball: Gamble pays off for Kentucky in SEC tourney win (Mark Maloney, Lexington Herald-Leader)

Was it a gamble to give Reed his first SEC start?

"I thought it would be a gamble to go the other way," Henderson said. "... I wasn't confident that Rogers would be strong enough on a short rest to give us six (innings), and I was very confident that he would give us three or four. And if he was going to give us three or four, I wanted them in the middle so it didn't feel like we were taking a starter out before we had five. Sometimes that's a little bit of a letdown for your club.

Baseball: Austin Cousino Named SEC Freshman of the Year (Barry Allen,

The Dublin, Ohio native ranks second in the SEC in runs scored (56), doubles (19) and at-bats (227) this season. He also ranks third in total bases (123) and plate appearances (264) seventh in hits (75), eighth in home runs (9) and ninth in slugging (.542). 

"I had a good fall with the team and with the players around us and previous SEC players, I knew we would be able to compete and I hoped that I could play with some of the best players in the country," Cousino added. "That is what I set my expectations for and I wanted to come out here and prove myself. 

University of Kentucky two-sport athlete Brian Adams has decided to give up his final two seasons of football and focus on his baseball career.

Adams played in 11 football games as a sophomore last season and caught five passes for 46 yards. He was listed as the No. 2 outside receiver on the UK depth chart entering spring practice but decided to stay with the baseball team this spring as it made a run at a Southeastern Conference title.

Football: Shifting conference landscape could benefit Kentucky, (Mark Story, Lexington Herald-Leader)

As for UK, if the SEC is eventually going to add two more teams, it should pass on Virginia Tech and Maryland (though both would be solid additions) and go for North Carolina and Duke.

Neither would enhance SEC football, but SEC football needs no enhancement. Add Carolina and Duke to the SEC, and the best football league would also become clearly the best men's basketball league. Bringing on Duke and UNC would also add the Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham TV markets to the SEC footprint and give the league a boost in academic cachet (which it needs).

Adding North Carolina and Duke to the SEC would also happen to be good for Kentucky. It would at long last bring into the league some basketball competitors who can look UK dead in the eye in terms of hoops tradition and emphasis. It would also add two football programs the Cats can 1.) beat regularly (Duke); 2.) compete with evenly (Carolina).

Former Wildcats making headlines

USA Basketball's Olympic preparations will be peppered with plenty of University of Kentucky flavor this summer. On Monday former Wildcats John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins were officially added to the 13-man USA Men's Select Team that will train against the USA National Team from July 6-12 in Las Vegas.

"Brandon is an extremely smart kid - and not just 4.0 academic smart," Joe Dumars told me after that game. "He picks up common sense things really well. There is nothing that can take the place of being out there and having to figure it out on the fly in an NBA game, NBA speed, when the lights are on. That's when you learn and grow. That's what he's talking about. You have to be out there, you have to be in a position to make those split-second decisions and that only comes with experience on the court."

Knight becomes the first Piston named to the All-Rookie first team since Grant Hill 17 years ago, a fitting parallel in temperament and character. Frank talked as the season wound down about his experience with young players growing as leaders in Summer League, where Knight will undoubtedly be the point guard and run the show for a Pistons entry that will include their 2012 lottery pick, two second-rounders and, quite likely, 2011 second-rounder Kyle Singler.

Eric Bledsoe not bad for former UK 'backup' (Rick Bozich, The Courier-Journal)

But in these NBA playoffs, it's Bledsoe showing star qualities. He scored more points than Blake Griffin, Chris Paul or any of the Clippers' starters in their 108-92 loss at San Antonio in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals.

The 23 points tied Bledsoe's career high. Credit him also with five rebounds, four assists and three steals in his third consecutive solid game. He totaled 22 points in the final two games of the first-round upset of Memphis.

Broncos sign another pick (Josh Alper,

Trevathan made a ton of tackles at Kentucky, but his size could keep him from filling a similar role in Denver. He's just 6'0″ and 237 pounds, a bit small for an every down role although his motor and competitiveness will mean that he puts up a good fight for one. Special teams figures to be his ticket to the final roster and his ticket to getting a shot at anything more than that as his career unfolds.

Trevathan gives the Broncos four draft picks under contract. There are three draftees still unsigned as the team continues their Organized Team Activities.

Credit a four-run fourth inning rally for changing the vibe Sunday, and in particular, Collin Cowgill's hard collision into Tim Lincecum when Cowgill scored from second on a wild pitch. Cowgill said he wasn't trying to hit Lincecum, and I believe him. But that play signified a shift in mentality during the series. The A's became the aggressors and started taking it to the Giants, and they finally came out on top.

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