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Web Wednesday - Dennis Emery 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

Men's Tennis: Kentucky tennis coach Dennis Emery succeeded because he cared (John Clay, Lexington Herald-Leader)

The 58-year-old coach retired on Tuesday, at least from coaching, giving it up after 30 years at UK, announcing that he had accepted Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart's offer to become a special assistant AD where Emery could put his focus and determination to use helping the entire athletics department.

"The thing is, as I know he does, I feel like we're really close to being a top-15 program in all sports," said Emery in what turned out to be an emotional news conference at the Memorial Coliseum media room. "For somebody that's been here 30 years, let me tell you, that's a completely stunning revelation."

Emery is one of the most decorated tennis coaches in collegiate tennis with an all-time record of 655-404, which ranked him sixth among active coaches. His 23 NCAA Tournament berths was second among active coaches.

"Although he will no longer be gracing the courts, we are thrilled that he has elected to stay with our department and help us achieve our goals of building a championship culture," Barnhart said. "What Dennis achieved with our tennis program is historic and we will always be indebted to him for his hard work and dedication for that program. I look forward to him continuing to be a part of UK Athletics."

In his new role, Emery will serve as a liaison between the athletics department former athletes, donors and others in the community while working with the fundraising office.
"It's the ability to be an incredible ambassador for things that I can't get to all of the time, places we can't go and places we need representation," Barnhart said of Emery's new job. "Two, (it's) fostering relationships with people that we have not been able to, at times, do as good a job as we need to do."

Game times for the Kentucky football team's home opener against Kent State and following home game against Western Kentucky University will both be night games. 

The Southeastern Conference announced the television schedule on Monday for the first three weeks of the 2012 football season.

Baseball: More All-America honors for UK freshman - No, not Anthony Davis... (Dick Gabriel,

Of course, unlike Davis, both Cousino and Reed will be back next season, and the one after that as well.  College baseball is governed by an eligibility rule many believe college basketball should adopt.  So while Davis collects millions in the professional ranks, the UK duo will be playing more college baseball.

The latest honor marks consensus freshman All-America prizes for the UK duo who are now the first Kentucky players in school history with consensus freshman All-America honors. The two standouts join former shortstop Chris Wade (2008) as the only freshman All-America selections in school history.

Former Wildcats making headlines

Anthony Davis signs with Nike (Eric Freeman,

Davis is the seventh top pick in the last decade to sign with Nike, which isn't surprising considering they are the biggest basketball-related company in the world by a significant margin. Yet that status doesn't mean that Davis is a guaranteed shoe superstar. In fact, as a defense-oriented player on a team with a long way to championship contention, Davis might not reach a superstar level of market penetration for some time. That doesn't mean Nike made a bad deal here -- it just means that Davis probably didn't command a gargantuan signing bonus or get promised a certain number of national advertisements. Different players demand different shoe-company salaries, and there's no shame in being a mid-level endorser in the Nike stable as a rookie.

Kidd-Gilchrist's off-court self-confidence has grown over the last 12 months since being thrust into the national spotlight. That's what happens when you chose to play college basketball at the University of Kentucky, win a national championship and become the second pick in the NBA draft.

"It's a part of me. It's who I am." Kidd-Gilchrist said of his stuttering.

Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins both hit solo home runs, while Joe Blanton held the Dodgers to two runs over eight innings before turning things over to Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth as the Phillies won for the third time in four games since the All-Star break.

Pitchers Alex Meyer and Aaron Barrett have been pitching lights out all season for the Single-A Hagerstown Suns, and just a few days into the second half, they are getting rewarded.

According to a club source, the right-handers have been promoted to high Single-A Potomac and will report Thursday.

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