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Wed Wednesday: This and that 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

Women's athletics: Kentucky's female athletes unite for grueling workouts, form lasting loyalties (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

The UK strength and conditioning coach says it's not her mission to make athletes miserable. She wants to make them tougher and stronger, more confident.

"I always tell the basketball players, 'You guys hate me now, but you're going to love me in March,'" Simmons says.

By the time basketball season rolls around and the season starts in November, Simmons is sure of one thing. "They will have the confidence that they can run anyone in the country down and wear them out."


Davis doesn't sound worried about pressure. He's dealt with plenty of it at Kentucky, a team that has one of the most rabid fan bases in college basketball. There, Davis played under a high-profile coach in John Calipari, and for a team that was expected to win it all the whole season and actually fulfilled that promise.

"Playing at Kentucky (under) Coach Cal and being the No. 1 team, the pressure came then, and we kind of felt it when I was playing there," Davis said. "So I think it kind of helped me a lot."

Men's basketball: Mitch Barnhart explains basketball ticket hike (Kyle Tucker, The Courier-Journal)

After the meeting, athletics director Mitch Barnhart spoke with the media and explained the ticket hike. He also addressed a few questions you fans might be having, like: 1) How do you justify charging more for men's tickets when that program makes a ton of money while giving a raise to the women's coach (a sport that loses money already)? 2) How exactly are football ticket sales going? 3) Why take Indiana off the home schedule the same year you hike ticket prices?

Women's basketball: O'Neill could become first UK women's basketball player in Olympics (Lexington Herald-Leader)

It's a great opportunity for the former McDonald's All-American, UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said.

"It is an honor for any player to get to play at this level with a chance to compete in the Olympics," Mitchell said. "All of us at UK will be cheering for Jen as she tries to help the Puerto Rican national team earn a spot."

O'Neill would be the first women's basketball player in program history to compete in the Olympics.

Football: Dakotah Tyler returns to Kentucky's team (Edward Aschoff, ESPN.com)

Once Tyler, who will be a junior this fall, completes his summer course he'll be able to play this fall. He sat out the 2011 season for personal reasons. 

After missing the first two games of the 2010 season because of a sprained ankle, Tyler played in the last 11 games in 2010 and made one start. He registered 13 tackles, one tackle for loss, one pass breakup and forced a fumble. He also contributed on special teams. 


The actual value of the UK-U of L football series has become a topic of debate among UK fans again; it seems as though it always is during the months leading up to a game that has Louisville favored.

U of L has everything to gain and nothing to lose, the reasoning goes. It's the Cards' annual chance to upend a team from the mighty Southeastern Conference. What does Kentucky gain by beating a team from an inferior conference?

Of course, ask yourself this: Have you ever heard a UK football fan make that argument in the giddy moments following a victory over the Cardinals - especially after a game Kentucky wasn't supposed to win?

Former Wildcats making headlines


That's when he drew upon his college education and his communications major, and began doing radio call-in shows. He moved back to Kentucky, and a friend told him about the need to promote literacy among Kentucky's children. Especially thanks to the computer era, it's hard to get children to pick up and read a physical book, Walker said. So Walker spied a prime chance to combine his studies, basketball experience, interest in reading and his role-model status.
 
He now helps release annual UK basketball yearbooks, which document the team's work that year and helps place copies of the books in public high-school libraries.
 
"Everybody loves UK basketball, especially with boys in school," he said. "So it's one way that we can get them to physical pick up a book to read."


Riley and Daly were rivals as coaches, eventually became close friends and now they're linked once again. The National Basketball Coaches Association selected Riley as this year's recipient of the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, which commemorates the former Detroit coach's life in basketball and his "standard of integrity, competitive excellence and tireless promotion" of the game.

Riley is the fifth person to receive the award, joining Tommy Heinsohn in 2009, Jack Ramsay and Tex Winter in 2010 and Lenny Wilkens in 2011.

"This is not an award," Riley said. "This is something somebody bestows on you. I'm very honored that the coaches association would do this."

Locke getting look (Ian Busby, Calgary Sun)

After Friday's pre-season outing against the Edmonton Eskimos, the Stamps released Tucker, who fumbled on special teams, and brought Locke on board.

He arrived in camp Monday, a couple of months after thinking his football career was finished.

"I thought, 'That's life,' and it's something I have to be put behind me and move forward," the 23-year-old said. "I have kids to take care of, so I can't wait to see what would happen.

Catching Up with Jodie Meeks (Kyle Scott, LEX18.com)

The camp will continue through Wednesday, June 20. Meeks also plans to hold another camp in July. At that time, he'll be a free agent.

"I talked to our GM (Philadelphia) and Doug Collins and they said they definitely want me back," Meeks said.

The decision will be Meeks'. He will be an unrestricted free agent starting July 1. He said money will be factor in his decision, but just as important is finding a team where he can establish himself.

News from UKAthletics.com








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