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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.

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Football: Kentucky Camp tour: Veterans hold edge in QB battle (Danielle Lewis,

No starter has been officially named, but sophomore Maxwell Smith and senior Morgan Newton continue to lead the QB battle at Kentucky. Freshmen Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow are in the picture, but appear to be fading behind the two veterans.

Smith started four games for the Wildcats in 2011, completing 84 of 153 passes for 819 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Newton appeared in nine games last season, completing 83 of 174 passes for 793 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Football: Robinson showing more consistency this year (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

It wasn't until the 5-foot-10 wide receiver's spring grades posted that Phillips thought the player finally had this college thing figured out.

"He felt really good about himself," Phillips said. "Not only had he accomplished things on the field, but he accomplished things off the field also."

Football: QB order has not changed (Kyle Tucker, The Courier-Journal)

Offensive coordinator Randy Sanders set a pecking order after Saturday's scrimmage, saying sophomore Maxwell Smith and senior Morgan Newton were ahead of freshmen Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow -- and hinting that Smith led Newton because of the latter's continued recovery from shoulder surgery.

Sanders said Monday that order hasn't changed.

"We've got a couple guys competing hard," he said. "It's a good situation to be in. I think it will sort itself out, the way I see things going, the way things are happening. We just need some more time. You don't want to make a decision too quickly. You want to make sure you're doing the right thing."

Football: Camp is all work and more sleep for new dad La'Rod King (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

His son's birth has changed more than just King's sleep schedule.

It's changed everything about the senior's life.

"It makes you more humble," he said. "The goal to get to the NFL has that much more meaning. There's nothing like providing for your family, and to do it by doing something you love would make it that much easier.

Football: Miles Simpson, Malcolm McDuffen get first chance to replace Guy, Trevathan for Wildcats (Jon Hale,

Trevathan and Guy were two of six starters UK lost on defense from last year's team, leaving a pair of big holes to fill. In their place, the Wildcats are turning to sophomores Malcolm McDuffen and Miles Simpson.

"I know I'm not Winston Guy," Simpson, who is listed at No. 1 at the hybrid safety/linebacker position on the depth chart, said. "I'm not trying to be Winston Guy. I'm trying to be myself and do my own thing."

Football: Kentucky football's blind side is untried (Kyle Tucker, The Courier-Journal)

For UK and its quartet of righty QBs, the blind side is brand new. Left tackle Chandler Burden and left guard Stuart Hines are gone from last season, taking with them 61 career starts. They've been replaced by true sophomore tackle Darrian Miller and redshirt freshman guard Zach West.

"There's a lot of responsibility to protect the quarterback and to perform," Miller said. "It's pressure all the way around."

Women's basketball: Visit to defending champs highlights tough UK women's non-conference schedule (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

Kentucky will get a chance to take down defending national champion Baylor in its second game of the season.

That is one of many big games on UK's non-conference women's basketball schedule released Tuesday.

After their home opener against Delaware State on Nov. 10, the Cats will head to Waco, Texas, to take on Brittney Griner and the Bears, who went a perfect 40-0 last season. That game, on Nov. 13, will be part of the State Farm Tip-off Classic.

Men's tennis: Matt Emery named UK tennis assistant coach (Lexington Herald-Leader)

Emery, the son of former longtime UK coach Dennis Emery, served as a volunteer assistant for the Cats last season.

"Matt was born to be a collegiate coach with his ability to relate to players and his endless knowledge of the game of tennis," Kauffmann said. "Matt has incredible experience after serving as a volunteer assistant with us last year and a very successful stint as an assistant coach at Maryland. We are both alumni of this great university and know what it means to wear Kentucky across your chest."

Former Wildcats making headlines

Jodie Meeks recognizes importance in backing up Kobe Bryant (Mark Medina, Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers had just finalized a trade that would bring them Dwight Howard. Immediately, Meeks imagined what it would be like to join a star-studded roster featuring an elite defender (Howard), an elite passer (Steve Nash), an elite scorer (Kobe Bryant) and elite post player (Pau Gasol). The thought of receiving countless open three-pointers because his teammates were double-teamed seemed so tantalizing. Later that night, Meeks agreed to join the Lakers with a two-year deal, worth $3 million, which became official Monday when he signed the contract.

"I felt like this was the best situation," Meeks said Monday in a phone interview with The Times. "To have a chance to play for a team like this will make me better. I'm playing with so many good people."

Dream year just keeps getting better for Davis (David Haugh, Chicago Tribune)

When Davis finally ran onto the floor, his father in the 12th row pulled out a camera to capture another big moment, the kind that have been more scarce than they were in college or Perspectives Charter School. In six Olympic games, Davis has averaged 8½ minutes, 4.3 points, three rebounds but gained an appreciation no statistic can measure.

"It's been tough coming from Kentucky where I was That Guy," Davis said Friday. "I represent Chicago every time I step on the court. So I'm just glad to be here and want to perform when I get in. I'm lucky these guys are teaching me how to become legendary, like they are."

Targeted tight end back in the Denver Broncos' playbook (Lindsay H. Jones, The Denver Post)

That first player who caught the first pass from Manning in Thursday's preseason opener at Chicago, that's Jacob Tamme. And he plays tight end, a position that last year often seemed to be an afterthought in the spread-option Tim Tebow offense.

Tamme, one of two free-agent tight ends signed in the offseason, was the target of two of Manning's seven passes (one fell incomplete) against Chicago. Backup tight ends Virgil Green and Cornelius Ingram were also targeted by other quarterbacks against the Bears, proof that the Broncos' offense will be far more diverse in 2012.

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Football: Busy Days for Football Cats

Men's golf: Men's Golf Announces 2012-13 Schedule

Gymnastics: Gymnastics Releases 2013 Competition Schedule

Men's soccer: Asher Named Preseason All-Conference USA

Women's soccer: Women's Soccer Picked Fourth in SEC East by Coaches

Volleyball: Volleyball Begins Season Ranked No. 13 in the Nation

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

So what exactly is Phillips excited about? Where specifically can he see the Wildcats being better in 2012?

He's glad you asked.

"I'm really excited about the defensive line depth," Phillips said. "The defensive line should be the strength of our defense, should be the strength of our football team."

Football: UK football walk-on Mikie Benton now a starter (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

Twice early in his time at UK, the senior safety didn't make the final cut on the 105-man roster. Twice, the former track standout from Russellville thought about quitting football altogether.

"There were plenty of times I got down on myself," he admitted earlier this summer.

But the second time he missed the cut, he vowed it would never happen again.

Football: Kentucky football happy to be crowded in backfield (Kyle Tucker, The Courier-Journal)

It's no surprise that he and the Wildcats feel much better about the position this preseason. Two heralded freshmen have joined the top four rushers from last season, who combined for 1,128 yards.

"Because of the amount of experience we've had at that position ... then the quality of the two guys coming in, that's why we were so excited about that position," head coach Joker Phillips said. "It just made that position a deeper position."

Football: UK's freshman wide receivers catching on quickly (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

UK is going to need some help at wide receiver, a position where it struggled last season when the Cats gained just 135.6 yards a game through the air.

UK's 4.8 yards per pass and 9.5 yards per catch were the lowest of this decade. The only bright spot was La'Rod King and his 40 catches for 598 yards and seven touchdowns.

Only two other returnees (E.J. Fields and Gene McCaskill) caught a pass for a score last season.

"Everybody is trying to learn names right now and the quickest thing they can go to is 'Little Newton' or 'Morgan's little brother' or 'Lil Newton,'" Langston said. "So right now, it's funny to hear all the variations of 'Little Newton' you get."
If Langston has his way, it won't be long before UK fans start thinking of him independent of his relation to Morgan, who has started 17 games in three seasons for UK and is competing for the starting quarterback job this fall.

Football: Freshman Jalen Whitlow wants to show coaches that he is a quarterback (Larry Vaught, Danville Advocate-Messenger)

He has the talent to play several positions and is the forgotten player most of the time on the team's quarterback depth chart. Yet there's no doubt in Jalen Whitlow's mind about what his best position is.

"Quarterback. That is my best position. My natural position is quarterback," said the Kentucky freshman from Prattville, Ala. He says he could play receiver, Wildcat quarterback or even cornerback or safety "if they (UK's coaches) made me" in certain situations.

However, he knows where he wants to play and believes he will play despite the presence of senior Morgan Newton, sophomore Maxwell Smith and true freshman Patrick Towles, Kentucky's Mr. Football last season, on the quarterback depth chart.

Football: Observations and conclusions on the quarterback decision (Corey Tincher,

In a simple world, Morgan Newton would be the obvious choice. He's the heralded recruit, he's a senior with years of experience, and he's familiar with the system. Unfortunately for Newton, there's the whole issue of last season. Newton was miserable at best and that misery was only shortened by injury before sophomore Max Smith took over. Smith didn't exactly excel, but he performed more-than-admirably for a freshman, and turned some heads in the process. Morgan Newton's starting position shouldn't even be in question, it's just common sense. If it weren't for performance on the field, that is.

Basketball: Kentucky College Basketball Title Brings 40% Rise in Royalties (Eben Novy-Williams, Bloomberg News)

University of Kentucky royalties from licensed merchandise sales rose 40 percent in the past year, helped largely by the school's eighth college basketball national championship.

Merchandise royalties at the Lexington-based school, which won the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament title in April, grew to $6.73 million in the 12 months ended June 30 from $4.80 million the previous year, according to Jason Schlafer, the senior associate athletic director for corporate and university relations.

Former Wildcats making headlines

Dawson center of attention at Hall of Fame (Teresa Varley,

Dawson, along with Jack Butler, became the latest Steelers inducted into the Hall of Fame, with a Pittsburgh crowd on hand to cheer him on.

"I am almost at a loss for words being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame," said Dawson. "This is an incredible honor and I feel very privileged and humbled. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be standing here before you on this stage in Canton, Ohio among all of these great players."

Bulls finally sign top pick Teague (K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune)

In a move the Bulls will announce soon, first-round pick Marquis Teague has signed his rookie contract and will travel from his hometown of Indianapolis to Chicago to begin workouts.

"It feels good to finally get it out of the way," Teague said in a phone interview. "I just want to get in the gym and start working out."

John Wall to assist President Obama (Michael Lee, Washington Post)

Since arriving in Washington two years ago, John Wall has been unable to persuade President Obama to watch him play at Verizon Center but the Wizards point guard is still prepared to help the Baller-in-Chief stick around for another term. Wall will join Michael Jordan and several current and former NBA stars in fundraiser on Aug. 22 for Obama's get reelection campaign.

The Obama campaign announced on Tuesday that it would hold a benefit shoot-around at New York's Chelsea Piers sports complex featuring several NBA stars, followed by a fundraising dinner hosted by Jordan later in the evening.

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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

All sports: Kentucky names six to Athletics Hall of Fame (Lexington Herald-Leader)

The University of Kentucky announced six new inductees Tuesday to its Athletics Hall of Fame.

The 2012 class, to be inducted Sept. 14-15, is Derek Abney (football), Leroy Edwards (basketball), J.B. Holmes (golf), Jeff Keener (baseball), Clayton Moss (diving) and Nancy Scranton (golf).

All sports: UK athletes changing lives, including their own, on foreign service trips (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

What started as an idea to build leadership within the football team has turned into a chance to build leaders across campus.

"I know the trip will have a dramatic impact on them," Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in June. "It will help them lead their teams differently. There's no doubt in my mind of that."

It's helped him lead his athletics team differently.

All sports: Fans should give Kentucky's Mitch Barnhart a break (John Clay, Lexington Herald-Leader)

So now that the UK AD has taken some vacation days to disappear and climb Mount Kilimanjaro -- he and his expedition party reached its peak Sunday -- some are complaining Barnhart's time would have been better spent back in Kentucky being seen with his embattled football coach.

My friend Kevin Faris of Ace Magazine tweeted: "So the UK AD can get to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, but can't make it to the Governor's Cup or Lexington Football luncheon?"

So let's see, if given the opportunity, do I want to undertake a once-in-a-lifetime experience or sit through another couple of rubber chicken dinners with the grip-and-grin set?


Football: Kentucky football coaches ask fans to believe in young team (Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal)

Phillips pleaded with fans Friday to remain open-minded about this year's squad.

"I don't care how you feel about Joker Phillips or the staff," he told the crowd. "Do it for these young men that have agreed to come here and represent you the right way. ... These players don't need everybody to believe in them, but they sure need somebody to."

Football: Quarterback competition making whole team stronger (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

Two people that know the quarterbacks and their tendencies better than anyone other than their coaches, veteran offensive linemen Matt Smith and Larry Warford, said recently that they don't think a quarterback competition will be bad for UK when fall camp starts this week.

"We're all teammates, all family," Warford said recently. "We sweat together, work together, bleed together.

"Other people make such a big deal, call it a controversy. It isn't really true. We support both of those players. We want both to succeed. Whoever wins the position, we're going to support."

Men's basketball: What Kentucky Can Teach Penn State (Harvey Araton, New York Times)

There was no sugarcoating the situation when Rick Pitino met with C. M. Newton to be presented with a unique but perilous coaching opportunity. But unlike Bill O'Brien, who signed on to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State, Pitino knew exactly what he was getting himself into.

Newton, Kentucky's new athletic director, visited Pitino in 1989 at his home in Bedford, N.Y., to lay out what the first two years would look like if Pitino quit the Knicks to help resurrect a defamed college basketball program that had narrowly avoided the N.C.A.A.'s so-called death penalty for major recruiting violations and academic fraud.

Men's basketball: The heat is on Calipari and Girardi (Dick Vitale,

There are very few constant-pressure-cooker jobs in the world of sports. Two of the most intense ones are in the Bronx, N.Y., and Lexington, Ky. The leader of the New York Yankees has to face the media and all the tabloids, on a regular basis, while getting scrutinized for every move he makes. It's a difficult challenge.

In college hoops, it takes a special person to run the Kentucky Wildcats' program in front of Big Blue Nation. Kentucky fans expect nothing less than a consistent winner and anything less is a nightmare.

When you look at the Yankees and the Wildcats, both have the perfect men in place leading the way. Joe Girardi and John Calipari both fit to perfection what those jobs are all about.

Men's tennis: UK tennis promotes Kauffmann to head coach (Lexington Herald-Leader)

The University of Kentucky promoted associate head coach Cedric Kauffmann to head coach of the men's tennis program on Wednesday.

Kauffmann replaces Dennis Emery, who retired last week after 30 years guiding the program.

Kauffmann has served as an assistant coach since 2005, including his promotion to associate head coach in 2009.

"This is an opportunity that I have dreamed about since I was a student-athlete here at Kentucky," Kauffmann said. "Anyone who spends even a short amount of time with me knows how I feel about the University of Kentucky, and I am committed to work tirelessly to keep our program as one of the best in college tennis."

Former Wildcats in the headlines

But it was clear watching Davis play with a bunch of NBA All-Stars and superstars: He belongs on this team. He didn't look out of place. He didn't look lost. He fit. And as Doug Collins mentioned during the game on the broadcast, talk about an offseason training regimen for Davis. His coach Monty Williams was in the arena watching the game and has to just be giddy about a) Davis's incredible skillset and b) the kind NBA crash course he's getting.

Ex-Cats angling for starter status in Denver (Arnie Stapleton, Associated Press)

Woodyard, a fifth-year pro, is coming off his best season yet, one in which he piled up career highs in tackles (97), starts (seven) and forced fumbles (two) while replacing middle linebacker Joe Mays on passing downs and making spot starts for an injured Williams.

"He's a veteran guy, he's done it before," Smith said. "So, on the depth chart he's penciled in there right now at No. 1. But these things are evaluated not only in practice but in games. So, we've got enough pre-season games to find out who's going to be the starter at that position."

Bulls sign Nazr Mohammed (

The Chicago Bulls announced the signing of veteran center and Chicago native Nazr Mohammed on Friday.

A 14-year veteran, Mohammed will take the place of center Omer Asik, who left for the Houston Rockets after the Bulls declined to match a three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet.

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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

Football: Kentucky: Coach Joker Phillips says he's feeling no heat (Chip Towers, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Kentucky coach Joker Phillips is known as a serious-minded fellow. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have a sense of humor.

Asked the dreaded hot-seat question during SEC Football Media Days on Wednesday, the third-year coach had a quick comeback.

"I'm not sitting down right now, so there's nothing hot up here," he said with a laugh.

Football: UK football notebook: Phillips identifies with disgruntled UK fans (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

The Kentucky head coach knows that fans are unhappy.

He knows they expected more than a lackluster 5-7 last season.

Joker Phillips knows they want to see much better performances on the field this season.

He knows all of this because he's a Kentucky fan, too.

Football: Kentucky Coach Shares Pre-season Enthusiasm with Fans: A Fan's View (Shannon Frazer,

Every University of Kentucky football fan wants the 2012 season to be special, but perhaps none do more than the Wildcats head coach himself, Joker Phillips.

At the Southeastern Conference Media Day on July 18, Phillips expressed the enthusiasm that he felt going into the fall, thanks to the momentum that winning the final game of the 2011 season provided.

Football: UK Football: QB Change? (Alex Risen,

Two Wildcat quarterbacks have SEC playing experience.  Senior Morgan Newton and sophomore Max Smith.

While Newton nursed his injured shoulder in the off-season, Smith took 100 percent of the snaps under center during the spring.

Coach Joker Phillips says if the season starts today, Smith gets the nod.  But, Joker also noted today while at ESPN, there will be a one or two week competition when camp starts back up in August.

Men's basketball: Everett roots strengthen Nerlens Noel (Dan Duggan,

George Wright-Easy, a 28-year-old friend who has known the 6-foot-10 shot-blocking phenom since he was a gangly grade schooler, picks up Noel at his house. Widely considered the top prep prospect in the country, Noel has the world in the palm of his enormous hand.

So where does he go on one of the last nights before his world changes, before he leaves for the University of Kentucky next month and presumably the NBA draft 10 months later? To the movie theater to see the latest installment of the "Spiderman" series with kids Wright-Easy mentors through New England Community Services -- a Dorchester-based nonprofit that has a contract with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

Baseball: Kentucky's Austin Cousino top hitter for Team USA (Lexington Herald-Leader)

University of Kentucky freshman center fielder Austin Cousino concluded play with the USA Collegiate National Baseball Team on Sunday as the squad's leading hitter.

Cousino batted .351 over 16 games. The U.S. wrapped up the summer by winning the bronze medal at the Honkbal Week competition in the Netherlands.

Former Wildcats making headlines

The New Orleans Hornets have come to terms with power forward Anthony Davis and guard Austin Rivers, a formality since the collective bargaining agreement has established the compensation level for first-round picks.

Davis, the first overall pick in last month's NBA draft, will earn $5.144 million in the first year of his three-year guaranteed deal while Rivers, as the 10th overall choice, is slotted by the CBA to earn $1.865 million in the first year of his three-year contract.

After a peeved Chan Gailey yanked Stevie Johnson out of the Buffalo Bills' 2011 season finale for another excessive-celebration penalty, the wide receiver believed he'd just punched his ticket out of town.

"At that point, I was thinking I was done with Buffalo," Johnson told Yahoo! Sports' Michael Silver. "I was like, 'They benched me? Really?' I figured I'd go back to Hunter's Point (to play for the 49ers). But the (Bills) stepped up and paid me. And it felt so good to be wanted."

Quigley, a South Oldham graduate, won four state high school singles titles and blossomed into a elite-level collegiate player on the courts at UK.

"Pretty much my whole career I have played some of my bigger matches at the Boone Center at UK. It has been really good to me," Quigley said. "I love it and I love all the fans that come out to support me."

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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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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

A state that has just under 4.4 million people according to a 2011 estimate -- which is the 26th highest total population in the U.S. -- is able to generate enough interest in Kentucky basketball to sustain a number of websites, newspapers, radio shows and TV shows. It is no secret that Kentucky fans drive college basketball traffic on the Internet.

How is that possible from such a small state? Why does the Big Blue Nation have such a powerful online presence?

Men's basketball - Breaking down UK's schedule from Massimino to Pitino (Mark Story, Lexington Herald-Leader)

Overall, a schedule with games against Maryland, Duke, Notre Dame, Baylor and Louisville, plus quality mid-major foes Long Island and Marshall is respectable. The Rupp Arena part of the schedule, especially in a season in which UK raised ticket prices for some fans, leaves a lot to be desired.

The University of Kentucky has announced its 2012-13 men's basketball non-conference schedule, including games against Maryland, Duke, Notre Dame, Baylor, Morehead State and the traditional Christmas week game against Louisville on Dec. 29.

University of Kentucky senior Matt Smith has been named to the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, which annually honors the best center in college football.

Smith, a Louisville native who was also on the Rimington watch list last season, has played in 29 games in his career with 22 starts.

In 2011, Smith missed the first two games because of injury but bounced back strong with nine starts. Two years ago, Smith helped anchor a UK offensive line that ranked in the top 25 in the nation in fewest quarterback sacks allowed.

Football recruiting is far more an inexact science than baseball and basketball, for obvious reasons. There's no way of knowing if a kid who physically dominates at the 12th-grade level will keep doing the same every year. And, like it or not, AAU basketball gives recruiters the opportunity to see the nation's most highly-touted players clash with each other.

The difference is - and it's huge - one great player still can change the fortunes of any quality basketball program. Two can prompt your fans to start squirreling away money for a trip to the post-season. Three? Assuming they get along and play well together, well, they can make history.

It takes dozens of players, arriving every year, to make it happen in football. And even though you're bringing in around 25 per year, if you're Kentucky, you can't make many mistakes.

Track & Field - Kentucky hires Stanford's Floreal to coach track and field (Mark Maloney, Lexington Herald-Leader)

Floreal, a UK assistant from 1995 through 1997, returns after a highly successful run at Stanford University, where he was an assistant from 1998-2005 and director of track and field for the past eight seasons.

He soon will be heading to London as the Team USA jumps coach at the Summer Olympic Games.

That Floreal would leave national-power Stanford for Kentucky prompted Track & Field News magazine to label one of its tweets "a coaching shocker."

Baseball - Cuba claims Game 4 against Team USA (

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team couldn't find an answer for Cuban starting pitcher Freddy Alvarez who struck out eight and allowed just two hits in 7.1 innings to lead Cuba to a 5-2 win on Sunday afternoon at Latin American Stadium.

Team USA fell behind early and played catch-up all game. Trailing by four with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, the U.S. put together a two-out rally, getting a single from Kyle Farmer (Georgia), a double by Austin Cousino (Kentucky) and another two-bagger, which drove in both runners, by Johnny Field (Arizona).

Former Wildcats making headlines

Alex Meyer did not get his turn to pitch in the Futures Game until the eighth inning, when USA led the World by 12 runs. He waited and waited, and he only threw six pitches, but Meyer packed into his impressive performance all the reasons why he is considered the Nationals' top pitching prospect.

The biggest loss is Harrellson, a versatile power forward who rebounds well, defends solidly and can shoot the three-pointer. His skill set should translate to a solid career in the league. But on this current Knicks team, his minutes were likely to be eaten up by Steve Novak, Jared Jeffries and Camby himself, who is a far better fit for backup center than Harrellson.

Trevathan making his mark with Broncos (Frank Jolley, The Daily Commercial)

Danny Trevathan is proving that he belongs in the National Football League.
The former Leesburg High School and University of Kentucky linebacker, a sixth round draft pick of the Denver Broncos, became the team's first rookie from the Class of 2012 to crack the starting lineup.

The team announced Saturday that forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of Kentucky signed a deal worth about $4 million for his first season, according to the union negotiated rookie pay scale. Kidd-Gilchrist averaged nearly 12 points and more than seven rebounds in his only season with the Wildcats.

The Bobcats chose Kidd-Gilchrist with the second overall rick. Kidd-Gilchrist's Kentucky teammate Anthony Davis was chosen first overall by New Orleans.

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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: UK rewards baseball coach with 5-year deal worth more than $2 million (Mark Maloney, Lexington Herald-Leader)

Henderson was named SEC Coach of the Year, having led the Cats to a third-place finish in the regular season. UK led the league for a school-record eight of 10 weeks, was ranked No. 1 in the country for three weeks and was nationally ranked for 13 consecutive weeks.

"It goes on and on and on, all the things that they did and they accomplished," Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. "The guy leading the charge is obviously Gary Henderson."

"Gary Henderson is a good example of the type of coach we want to lead our athletics programs at Kentucky and he and his staff are very deserving of new contracts," UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. "He has helped build the program from the moment he arrived in Lexington and it was thrilling watching his team complete a historic campaign in 2012. We are convinced that the success our baseball program achieved last spring is just the beginning and it is an exciting time to be a UK baseball fan."
While Barnhart and Henderson both expressed excitement with the direction of the program Tuesday, they also noted the importance of continuing to invest in the program in the form of a facility upgrade in the coming years.

Men's basketball: Kentucky basketball makes history at NBA draft (Kyle Tucker, The Courier-Journal)

That the 6-foot-10 Davis would be taken first was a foregone conclusion. He set an NCAA freshman record with 186 blocks and earned National Freshman of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and consensus Player of the Year honors. He led UK to its eighth national title in New Orleans -- his new home city -- in April.

Kidd-Gilchrist immediately following him was something of a surprise. That seemed more possible a month ago, but as the draft drew closer, the buzz was that he might slip to the third, fourth or fifth pick. In his final prediction Thursday, ESPN draft guru Chad Ford had him falling to No. 7.

Men's basketball: Calipari's got it figured out (Perry Hunter,

UK and Coach Cal are a match made in heaven. Whether you like it or not, UK is one of the -- if not the -- elite basketball schools in the country with fans that Cal calls "crazy." And Coach Cal is not afraid to sell UK for what it is known for -- a basketball school.

With UK's Anthony Davis going No. 1 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist going No. 2, Coach Cal is lord over the NBA draft. In his three years at UK, he has sent 11 players out the door in the first round of the NBA draft and had two top picks. The success he has had, from an Elite Eight to a Final Four to the 2012 National Championship, all the while using one-and-done players, is exactly what UK fans want and is exactly what someone who is willing can do to take advantage of the current rules.

Men's basketball: Draft night gives John Calipari an edge over Nick Saban in turning out pros (Kevin Scarbinsky, Birmingham News)

Saban owns the BCS football na­tional championship, his second at Alabama and third overall.

Calipari owns the NCAA basket­ball title, his first. How many will he win? As his friend LeBron James might say, "Not one. Not two. Not three. Etc."

This is beginning to get monoto­nous. Anything Saban can do, Cali­pari can do at least as well and, in some cases, better.

Women's basketball: Kentucky women add top-flight junior-college transfer (Lexington Herald-Leader)

The University of Kentucky women's basketball team added to its extraordinary depth of talent for the 2012-13 season Wednesday, announcing the signing of junior-college transfer Jelleah Sidney.

Sidney, a high school teammate of current UK players Jennifer O'Neill and Bra'Shey Ali, is a 6-foot-2 power forward who spent last season at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla. Sidney arrives at Kentucky with three seasons of eligibility remaining.

Football: Q&A with Kentucky football coach Joker Phillips (Kyle Tucker, The Courier-Journal)

Joker Phillips is two months away from the most important season of his career. The former University of Kentucky player and assistant coach is 11-13 in two seasons as the Wildcats' head coach and suddenly finds his seat warm entering Year 3.

Athletic director Mitch Barnhart has shown steadfast public support for Phillips, saying over and over that he believes Phillips can get UK, which ended its streak of five consecutive bowl berths last season, back on track. But Barnhart also acknowledged this spring that the Cats need to show signs of that in 2012.

Football: Ranking the importance of Kentucky's football games 1-12 (John Clay, Lexington Herald-Leader)

1. Louisville (Sept. 2): I normally argue against the chronic notion that the U of L game is the must-win of every Kentucky football season. Much can happen post-Louisville, good or bad. This year, I join the chorus. A UK loss, especially a lopsided one, and a pessimistic fan base could toss in the towel. A UK win at Papa John's, however, and the outlook on the entire campaign changes -- for the better.

Former Wildcats making headlines

Davis, a 6-foot-11 center from Kentucky, could return to practice for Team USA within a week to 10 days. USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski plan to be patient with Davis, especially with the glut of injuries that have hit the team's frontline. Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge are already out for Team USA.

Randall Cobb doesn't have an easy path to be this team's breakout player because the Packers' wideout depth chart is so stacked. Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson are the starters. James Jones and Donald Driver make terrific reserves. But Cobb is going to force the Packers to find room.

Cobb announced his presence as a rookie with two touchdowns in the season opener, but he barely played on offense that night against the New Orleans Saints. As late as Week 13 against the Giants, Cobb was an afterthought. His playtime and production gradually increased after that.

Cowgill up and running, nearing return (Casey Pratt,

Cowgill, 26, has missed nine games since the injury. He was hitting .300 (9 for 30) with a homer and five RBIs in 10 games before getting hurt.

"Every day it has been better," Cowgill said before Monday's series opener against Boston. "I think when it is time to come off I'll be ready to go."

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Thursday night will mark the third consecutive NBA Draft that will see John Calipari coached Kentucky players realize their dreams. The NBA Draft has become a huge night for the University of Kentucky, as Kentucky players have made quite an impression over the last few years at the event. 

Being drafted serves as a right of passage, the final step, and holds a graduation-like feel. When Calipari talks about making Kentucky a player's first program, this night is what he's referring to: preparing his players at the highest level to play amongst the best basketball players in the world in the NBA.

Where they will end up is anyone's guess. Except for Anthony Davis. He's a lock with the number one pick to New Orleans. But the projections for the rest of them are all over the map, and it will be interesting and exciting to see where these former Wildcats will take their game to help represent the Blue and White.

With the draft generating the most headlines this week, we're going to do Web Wednesday a little differently this time around. Here we go.

Best (mocks) on the 'net: Scott Howard-Cooper

Anthony Davis - 1 (New Orleans Hornets)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - 5 (Sacramento Kings)
Terrence Jones - 15 (Philadelphia 76ers)
Marquis Teague - 28 (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Doron Lamb - 34 (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Darius Miller - 45 (Philadelphia 76ers)

Anthony Davis - 1 (New Orleans Hornets)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - 5 (Sacramento Kings)
Marquis Teague - 18 (Houston Rockets)
Terrence Jones - 21 (Boston Celtics)
Doron Lamb - 28 (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Darius Miller - 37 (Toronto Raptors) Jeff Goodman

Anthony Davis - 1 (New Orleans Hornets)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - 4 (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Terrence Jones - 20 (Denver Nuggets)
Doron Lamb - 25 (Memphis Grizzlies)
Marquis Teague - 33 (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Darius Miller - 37 (Toronto Raptors) - Chad Ford

Anthony Davis - 1 (New Orleans Hornets)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - 5 (Sacramento Kings)
Terrence Jones - 17 (Dallas Mavericks)
Marquis Teague - 25 (Memphis Grizzlies)
Doron Lamb - 43 (Atlanta Hawks)
Darius Miller - 45 (Philadelphis 76ers)

Anthony Davis - 1 (New Orleans Hornets)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - 4 (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Terrence Jones - 17 (Dallas Mavericks)
Marquis Teague - 25 (Memphis Grizzlies)
Doron Lamb - 36 (Sacramento Kings)
Darius Miller - 37 (Toronto Raptors)

Anthony Davis - 1 (New Orleans Hornets)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - 4 (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Terrence Jones - 17 (Dallas Mavericks)
Marquis Teague - 25 (Memphis Grizzlies)
Doron Lamb - 34 (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Darius Miller - 40 (Portland Trail Blazers)

Anthony Davis - 1 (New Orleans Hornets)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - 5 (Sacramento Kings)
Terrence Jones - 9 (Detroit Pistons)
Doron Lamb - 29 (Chicago Bulls)
Marquis Teague - 32 (Washington Wizards)
Darius Miller - 38 (Denver Nuggets)

Future Kentucky NBAers making headlines

The soft-spoken Davis is typically bland in what he says, but he created a stir when he called out Kobe Bryant shortly before the combine during a radio interview. Asked on The Dan Patrick Show whom he was anxious to face, Davis chose Bryant.

"He's a monster," Davis said. "I just want to go out there and play my hardest. There's a lot of guys that can't stop Kobe, so if I stop him, I could be one of the guys that say, 'I shut Kobe down.' "

If he deals with his stammer the way he and his hyper-protective family have confronted and conquered everything else -- his premature birth, his father's murder, a surrogate father's death on the day he signed with Kentucky, the daily 154-mile commute throughout high school -- Kidd-Gilchrist figures to overcome it soon enough.

"I'm not worried about [the stammer] anymore," he said. "I'm happy with everything."

Perhaps the NBA should, at least for this year, rebrand the noteworthy "green" room, where Thursday night's top draft prospects and their families gather while awaiting word about their professional destinations.

It could quite easily be the "blue" room in 2012, with five players from the University of Kentucky's national championship team in the running to be lottery selections.

Michael Kidd-GIlchrist awaits his fate Thursday's NBA draft.
While there's little doubt that power forward Anthony Davis will be the first Wildcat selected, the second, third or fourth overall pick will be Kentucky small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Opinions vary on what type of player Jones will be in the NBA, but there is little doubt he is a first-round lock. Some mock drafts have him going as high as seventh, to the Golden State Warriors, while others have Jones slipping all the way to the late teens. But after wildly successful high school and college careers, Jones is eager to start the next chapter of his life -- wherever that may be. 

"I'm going to be blessed and happy to play for whatever team that drafts me," Jones said, when asked if he hoped to play for the hometown Trail Blazers. "It doesn't matter to me where I go; playing in the NBA is a dream come true." 

Two days before Terrence Jones expects to hear his name called in the first round of the NBA Draft, he was helping put a giant smile on the face of a friend in Lexington.


With the aid of the former Kentucky forward, William Bolden -- a 22-year-old UK basketball superfan who has developed a bit of a YouTube following with Wildcats-oriented videos posted under his nickname "Stone Cold Willow" -- got extensive dental work at no cost to him.

Another NBA draft, another Indianapolis-area player likely to be selected in the first round.

If Pike High School graduate Marquis Teague is taken among the top 30 picks of the draft Thursday night -- he's projected to go somewhere between No. 16 to Houston and No. 30 to Golden State in most mock drafts -- it would mark the seventh consecutive year a player from the area has been ?selected in the first round.

Miller family anxiously awaiting NBA Draft (Chuck Hamilton, The Ledger Independent)

Brian and his wife Nicole are understandably very proud of their son, who they have followed closely in Lexington and on the road throughout his career.

"Well, things have settled down some for now, but June 28 (NBA Draft night) can't get here fast enough for us. We're anxious and nervous about where Darius is going to go but the main thing is we want him to go to a team where he can play and get an opportunity," Brian said. "Nothing will surprise him, he's already won three AAU titles, a gold medal, a state championship and a national championship."

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,

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,

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

Best on the 'net

Men's basketball: Kentucky finishes atop recruiting class rankings -- again (Jeff Borzello,

At the time, Kentucky was lurking at No. 8, with two top-40 prospects (Archie Goodwin and Willie Cauley) in the fold. UCLA was at No. 10, as Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams were the only ones committed to the Bruins.

Barring another program picking up two five-star players, Arizona looked destined for the No. 1 spot.

Unfortunately for Miller and the Wildcats, that's exactly what happened - with both Kentucky and UCLA.

Men's basketball: Toughest legend to replace? Calipari (Dana O'Neil,

Perhaps he is not quite a legend in his sport yet, but he is a deity in the state he currently calls home. If John Calipari asked for a flash mob to assemble at Rupp Arena at noon on Friday, businesses and schools would have to shut down. If he said he liked purple tulips, they'd arrive at his doorstep by the truckload. 

That's why Mitch Barnhart -- or whoever is the Kentucky athletic director when Calipari calls it quits -- has the toughest job in college basketball. 

Men's basketball: Anthony Davis says going No. 1 'not set in stone' (Associated Press)

And even though he wasn't quite ready to buy a home in the Big Easy, there's a good chance he'll be the one heading to the podium when commissioner David Stern announces the first pick of the draft.

With his athleticism and game-changing defense, Davis helped Kentucky win a national championship in his lone college season. Now he's poised to join Bulls star Derrick Rose as the second Chicago product in five years to be taken with the No. 1 pick.

Men's basketball: Kentucky's Kidd-Gilchrist says he's 'all about' winning, but he has tangibles too (Jerry Tipton, Lexington Herald-Leader)

Yes, Kentuckians on and off press row know how intently Kidd-Gilchrist competes. In his one UK season, he breathed life into one of Coach John Calipari's pet phrases: Will to win.

That label stuck to Kidd-Gilchrist as he and 60 other prime prospects for the June 28 NBA Draft met with pro teams and reporters this week in what the league calls its combine.

Men's basketball: Extra year aided UK's Terrence Jones (Kyle Tucker, The Courier-Journal)

It's likely that by June 28, the night of the draft, Jones will have fulfilled both missions. He already helped hang UK's eighth national championship banner in April and, based on the latest projections, Jones will be an NBA lottery pick -- a distinction bestowed on the first 14 selections -- in a little more than two weeks.

"Oh, yeah," Calipari said. "We had a good idea where he would have gone last year, and he's in a better position. He knew he wasn't ready to go, so he helped himself. He came back and now he's mature. He helped himself, no question."

In a one-on-one interview with KyForward sports editor Jon Hale, Calipari took time from a satellite basketball camp at Campbell County Middle School to talk about his future at UK, his scheduling philosophy, the NBA draft, next year's team and a host of other topics.

Track & Field: UK track coach Don Weber announces retirement (Mark Maloney, Lexington Herald-Leader)

After 34 years on the UK cross country track and field staff, the last 28 as head coach, Weber has retired.

"For pretty much a full year, unless I was really occupied with a task, I couldn't help this running through my head," Weber said. "And I didn't want even the possibility of 'I might not be here' to leak out, and the complications that would cause. So I pretty much kept it to myself."

Football: Going One On One With UK Quarterback Patrick Towles (Alan Cutler,

Patrick isn't coming into Kentucky making any big boastful statements like I'm going to be the man from day one. But he does come in with a perfect attitude about what his ability brings to the table.

"Yes sir. Any, being the competitive person that I am, I'm not going into go into a situation and put 50% effort into it. My goal is to get the starting quarterback job. It's been that since I, a year ago since I committed. I'm going to go down there and whatever I possibly can so that on September 2nd, I'm the starting quarterback against Louisville."

Former Wildcats making headlines

Woods, the former UK point guard, has been Morehead State's coach almost a month. In that time, he's spoken to alumni groups in Maysville and Ashland. He participated in a fund-raiser Saturday, two days after giving the keynote speech to a Morehead Chamber of Commerce event.

Of the 25 or so interviews he's given, Woods talks of building on the success of his predecessor, Donnie Tyndall, who made Morehead State a regular participant in the NCAA Tournament.

Kings' Cousins has Olympic fever (Aileen Voison, The Sacramento Bee)

DeMarcus Cousins believes he can do this. Actually, he believes he will do this: Dominate the competition during Team USA's training session early next month in Las Vegas. Impress coach Mike Krzyzewski. Defy the odds, overcome the skeptics, and convince USA Basketball czar Jerry Colangelo to slip him a plane ticket to the 2012 London Games.

Right-hander Alex Meyer served up his best performance as a professional with six innings of shutout baseball Tuesday night, allowing just two hits. Meyer struck out five Hickory Crawdads and walked just one in a 4-0 Hagerstown victory in a rain-shortened affair at Municipal Stadium.

News from

Track & Field: Outdoor Track & Field Season Comes to Close

Video of the week - #WeAreUK intro

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