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Posts from Wednesday, June 17

Contrary to popular belief, Jodie Meeks could still return to UK for his senior season, albeit unlikely.

Contrary to popular belief, Jodie Meeks could still return to UK for his senior season, albeit unlikely.

More basketball links

Posted at 4:02 p.m. EDT - Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations

  • Andy Katz of ESPN recaps day one of the Team USA trials. Katz had the chance to speak to Kentucky's Darius Miller while he tries to make the U-19 team.
  • More preseason rankings, this one from UK fan favorite Pat Forde (only kidding of course). The Cats check in at No. 6 in Forde's preseason rankings.
  • Hey, if we're going to rank teams, why not look all way ahead to the NCAA Tournament. I mean come on, it's only eight and a half months away. Joe Lunardi from ESPN provides us with his bracketology prognostication. If Lunardi's crystal ball comes true, the Cats will be headed to the Final Four.


The Randolph Morris loophole

Posted at 3:33 p.m. EDT - Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations

A couple of days ago I posted that Jodie Meeks could still return to UK based on a number of circumstances, similar to the Randolph Morris return of several years ago. As I said then, the chances of it happening are slim to none, but the door on Meeks' eligibility hasn't been slammed all the way shut.

Many of you, whether it be via e-mail or posts on message boards and blogs, have questioned whether that loophole is still in effect. The answer is yes. Meeks could go undrafted on June 25, not sign with an agent, turn down any other professional contracts and return to school. He would, however, have to declare in writing that he intends to resume intercollegiate participation within 30 days after the draft.

For complete clarification, here are the NCAA bylaws: Draft List. After initial full-time collegiate enrollment, an individual loses amateur status in a particular sport when the individual asks to be placed on the draft list or supplemental draft list of a professional league in that sport, even though: (Revised 4/25/02 effective 8/1/02)

(a) The individual asks that his or her name be withdrawn from the draft list prior to the actual draft;

(b) The individual's name remains on the list but he or she is not drafted; or

(c) The individual is drafted but does not sign an agreement with any professional athletics team. Exception - Basketball - Four-Year College Student-Athlete. An enrolled student-athlete in basketball may enter a professional league's draft one time during his or her collegiate career without jeopardizing eligibility in that sport, provided the student-athlete is not drafted by any team in that league and the student-athlete declares his or her intention to resume intercollegiate participation within 30 days after the draft. The student-athlete's declaration of intent shall be in writing to the institution's director of athletics. (Adopted 1/11/94; Revised: 1/10/95, 1/14/97 effective 4/16/97, 4/24/03 effective 8/1/03 for student-athletes entering a collegiate institution on or after 8/1/03)


Trudging through the afternoon

Posted at 2:30 p.m. EDT - Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations

Thanks again to everybody who joined the live chat earlier, the beginning of an eight-part series called Wildcat Wednesdays that will bring UK's athletes and coaches right to you for a live chat format each and every week. Molly Johnson and Sarah Rumely really enjoyed talking with you all and wanted to keep going.

A couple of notes and reminders while we trudge through an agonizingly slow news day:

The Southeastern Conference awarded sites for the men's and women's SEC basketball tournaments through 2014 on Wednesday. Nashville, Tenn., will host the 2011 and 2012 women's tournament and the 2013 men's tournament. Duluth, Ga., will be the site of the 2010, 2013 and 2014 women's tournament while the Georgia Dome in Atlanta will play host to the men in 2014.

List through 2014 is as follows:











New Orleans








Also, wanted to remind everyone that it's not too late to sign up for the "5K for 5K," one of five events the women's basketball team is hosting in an effort to set a new school record of 5,000 season tickets for the 2009-10 season.

The registration date has been extended to June 24 for the 5K run/walk, which will be held June 27 at 8:30 a.m. The race will begin and end at Memorial Coliseum.

All new or returning season ticket holders who purchase and/or renew season tickets by the registration date will receive one free entry to the race for each of their season tickets. There will be no walk-up registration on the day of the race.

To register for the race or buy/renew season tickets, click here.



Morning coffee


Posted at 9:18 a.m. EDT - Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations


Live chat with softball's Molly Johnson and volleyball's Sarah Rumely is coming shortly, but before we get there let's take a peek at some of the major headlines (if you want to call them that after a very slow news day).


Warning: today's highlights are rankings heavy.


UK story of the day: In the aftermath of the Jodie Meeks decision, Tuesday was left for fans to pick up the pieces and move on to the still very bright future of UK basketball.


After Monday's NBA Draft deadline, a couple of prominent columnists decided to revise their preseason polls for the 2009-10 basketball season. The first comes from Gary Parrish of CBS Sports and the other from ESPN's Andy Katz. Parrish ranks the Cats. No. 2 while Katz places UK at No. 7.




Most of you won't like this opinion, but I'll tend to side with Katz. I may even drop the Cats a little lower than that.


On paper, I agree that UK is in the top three in terms of pure talent and potential. A lineup of John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Patterson, DeMarcus Cousins, etc. is still as scary as anybody's in the country.


But the loss of Meeks will be significant at first. His scoring will obviously be sorely missed, but I think there is something to be said of the experience and leadership UK will be lacking in its lineup.


Of the projected top six or seven players in terms of playing time, only Patterson and Darius Miller have played major minutes at the collegiate level. Come midseason I think you throw most of that argument out the window, but it's going to take time for Wall and Co. to adjust to a different playing level, even if they are more talented.


So if we're talking about where we think teams rank at the beginning of the season and not the end, I'll put UK in the seven to 10 range. As Katz puts it in his rankings, "I just want to see UK mature a bit before it's anointed." I couldn't agree more.


Once they mature, I'll join the masses and call this team a Final Four, er, national championship contender.     


More preseason rankings (football style): Athlon Sports is starting from the bottom and ranking all the teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Athlon tabbed UK No. 56. Not a whole lot of love, but can't say I completely disagree. A brutal early season schedule and major uncertainties on offense bring up heavy concerns heading into the season. (Props to A Sea of Blue on the find.)


SEC story of the day: While we're at it, why not rank the Southeastern Conference? Seth Emerson of the State did exactly that after the return of most of the league's stars.


I'm not sure I totally agree with a lot of Emerson's picks, but I will agree that the SEC appears to be stacked. Just a season ago that would have seemed like a ludicrous statement to make, but not anymore.


With the return of guys like Patterson, Devan Downey, Tyler Smith, Michael Washington and Tasmin Mitchell, the SEC has arguably the best crop of individual talent in the nation.


How that translates into team success is still a mystery, but when I look at a team like SEC East co-champion South Carolina, a team Emerson projects as the fourth-best Eastern Division team next year, my gut tells me the league will have more than three teams in the Big Dance in 2010.


National story of the day: Sammy Sosa is the latest former baseball icon to take a fall. Sosa tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003, according to a report in The New York Times.


Surprised? Hardly. I've come to expect it these days. It's become a sad reality, but I'm beginning to believe that most of the baseball players I grew up and loved took PEDs at one point in their careers to get ahead in the game.


Just look at some of the names that have been associated with PEDs the last several years: Sosa, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez. Those are baseball's best players over the last 15-20 years.


Most of us already believed Sosa was guilty anyway. The corked bat and grand jury testimony several years ago were all the proof we needed. Still, Tuesday's news is just another black mark on an already tarnished game (apparently that doesn't matter to fans who continue to flock to ballparks in record fashion).


I know you're innocent until proven guilty, but that's no longer the case in baseball. You're assumed guilty until proven innocent. It's an unfair standard, but baseball has nobody to blame but itself.