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From the Pressbox: Bowie impressed with Davis, Noel, Calipari

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Until last season, it had been 14 years since a Kentucky player moved into the top five of the school record books for blocks in a single season. Anthony Davis obliterated the record, with 103 more blocks (186) than the previous best. And now Nerlens Noel, through 18 games, is only eight blocked shots away from having the second-best season ever in that category.

Sam Bowie, who set the single-season mark in 1981 when he blocked 80 shots for UK, says shot-blocking skill is not the only similarity between Noel and Davis.

"When you talk about Anthony Davis, he is a unique kid because it is very unusual to find a kid that is as talented and as respectful as he is. He came across to me every time that I met him, he would always say 'Mr. Bowie' and I would say that my name is Sam. He never knew that he was a superstar and he never knew that he was a franchise player. He played every play like he was trying to make the team and when you get that kind of combination, with the talent and the skill level that he has, it's a gift - because many times the superstar knows he is the superstar and realizes that he doesn't have to work as hard as the others because he realizes that he is going to get all the minutes and all the  time that he wants," Bowie observed in an interview on "The Leach Report" radio show. "Anthony, that was his biggest asset. He thought he was just another guy on the roster and then this kid Nerlens, I watch him game after game and I am almost going to put him (Noel) in the same category.

"It's not really fair to put him in the same category as Anthony, but I put him in the same category in the sense that he is the first one on the floor for loose balls. He does all the things that a normal superstar does not do and he is as happy and as elated after a ballgame when he scores nine points, seven rebounds and four blocks. He doesn't have to have numbers to dominate a ballgame and I think that is one thing Cal would agree with me, that both those kids are made out of the same mold."

And Bowie sees John Calipari being cut from the same cloth as the coaches who had the best understanding of what the UK program and Big Blue Nation is all about.

"I had never met Calipari personally prior to him being hired by the University of Kentucky. I had been to basketball functions and been in banquet halls and things of that nature around him but to actually meet him, I had never done that. One day, I got a phone call from him and he said he wanted to meet me and he wanted to sit down and talk. His whole deal is this - and it's real simple, he means this and it's not propaganda - he would tell me, 'Bowie, this program will go on regardless if there is another Sam Bowie and this program will be strong regardless if I am the head coach here,' " Bowie said. "He has really embraced the past without naming names and I am sure the public knows where I am going with this situation, but in the past that always hasn't been the case where former players, former coaches still felt like they were a part of the program and with Calipari, he is the first to tell you that he is the blessed one that the university has hired him and not what he gives the university but what the university gives him."

Halftime lead streak ends at Alabama

When Kentucky lost at Alabama on Tuesday after leading at halftime, a long streak came to an end.

The Wildcats had won 53 consecutive games in which they took a lead into the second half, stretching back to a February 1, 2011 loss at Ole Miss.

LSU's press a test

Taking care of the basketball will be a key for the Cats in tomorrow's game against LSU.

First-year coach Johnny Jones' press is generating more than 10 steals per game, which ranks fourth in the nation.  In their win over Texas A&M Wednesday night, the Tigers had 19 steals (eight of those by Christian County High School product Anthony Hickey).

And LSU is tied with Missouri for the SEC in offensive rebounds per game, at almost 15.

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