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From the Pressbox: Football, basketball notes

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Kentucky's new offensive coordinator spent some time this week looking at tape of the players he'll inherit in his new job but he also wanted to be careful about developing any judgments on players before he sees them on the field this spring.

"A lot of times, a guy with a fresh start shows a whole new sign of being able to play at this level. Most of my time has been spent recruiting. We've got some kids here who are talented," Brown said Thursday on "The Leach Report" radio show.

"The three quarterbacks give us a starting point. You've got to have a (good) quarterback and we've got three that I think give us a chance to compete in this conference. The young O-linemen, I've been impressed with but we don't have a whole lot of depth there. At receiver, we're thin but I think the young guys that played last year have some ability and I think we can get those guys better. At running back, we've got good numbers. Probably need to sign a guy that can make people miss in space. We'll fit these guys into our system," Brown added.

Brown is a product of the coaching tree that traces back to Hal Mumme's tenure at Kentucky, when the "Air Raid" offense ranked among the most productive in the nation. Not all defensive coaches would embrace an offensive staff that wants to rely on a pass-first attack, but Mark Stoops and his brothers clearly don't think that way.

Stoops talked this week about his brother, Bob, reached out to then-UK offensive coordinator Mike Leach to run the Oklahoma offense when the elder Stoops took over the Sooners' program in 1999. Another Stoops brother, Mike, hired Sonny Dykes, a graduate assistant on Mumme's early staffs at UK, to run his offense at Arizona. And now Mark Stoops has hired another "Air Raid guy" in Brown, whose offenses at Texas Tech in recent years ranked among the nation's leaders in passing and total yards.

"He's 100 percent behind what we do," Brown said. "Athletics Director Mitch (Barnhart) gave him the opportunity to hire any type of offensive coordinator he wanted to. His brother, Bob, won a national championship with this same system and his brother, Mike, was one game away from a Rose Bowl with this system, so he (Mark Stoops) believes in it."

And a lot of Big Blue fans are wondering if we'll see a return to the Air Raid sirens that became associated with UK football in the late 90's.

"That's up to Coach Stoops and the marketing people," Brown said.

ESPN's Chris Low on Stoops as a recruiter

Some coaches develop a reputation for their recruiting prowess while others might not be as successful but win by virtue of their skill at evaluating prospects and finding those "diamonds in the rough."  ESPN's SEC blogger, Chris Low, says Mark Stoops is viewed as one who scores well in both areas.

"He's a very good recruiter and a very good evaluator and he's also proven that he can develop guys. Some guys are really good recruiters and some guys are really good at developing them when they get on campus. You talk to folks around college football and (they think) he can do both," Low said of Stoops. "You've got to get some guys, sometimes, that are maybe under-sized or are late-bloomers but you've also got to go out and win some (recruiting) battles."

Cameron Mills recalls Wayne Turner's vocal evolution

Communication has been a hot topic for John Calipari as he pushes his young basketball to improve in terms of talking to each other on the court. Former Wildcat Cameron Mills says he can remember one of his former teammates who struggled early with that very thing.

"Wayne Turner is the perfect example," Mills said this week on "The Leach Report" show. "On the court, he just played - he didn't talk (as a freshman). By the time he was a junior or senior, he corner me and yell at me, which is what you want your point guard to me. I remember Travis Ford grabbing Rodney Dent by the jersey and pulling him down and just giving it to him because he missed a rotation on defense."

Mills notes Turner evolved into that kind of point guard over a multi-year career at UK.  Mills says current Cat Ryan Harrow must embrace that mentality because it is crucial for the point guard to lead his team on the floor both verbally and with his play.

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