Chat took place Wed, Feb. 16
David : I look forward to coming out and seeing the team play again this year. What would you consider to be a successful season this year?
John Cohen : Everyone of our players getting better in every practice and every game. That's my idea of success. When that happens, wins will take care of themselves.
troy narcisse : any chance we can make it to the ncaa tourney in bb this year.
John Cohen : Absolutely. The double-edge sword of the SEC is that the competition level, while being stiff, is also more rewarding as more teams earn bids to the NCAA Tournament. Over the past two years, only one school to make the SEC Tournament (top 8 finish overall) has failed to get into the NCAA Tournament. Last year, 9 SEC teams made it, so we like our chances.
Kathy from Lexington : Who would you say are a few of the top players to watch from the new freshman class this year?
John Cohen : Pitchers Andrew Albers and Scott Green, outfielders Collin Cowgill from Lexington and Antone DeJesus, Ryan Wilkes. We feel like all of our freshman can contribute immediately, but I look for these guys to start right away.
Scott Reynolds : How do you determine the starting pitcher for a mid-week game? Do you have a fourth starter or would you use the third starter (slated for Sunday's game) and put him on a pitch count?
John Cohen : The prior weekend always determines who will pitch a mid-week game. The most important factor is the health of your pitching staff. It's a matter of who pitched the weekend before and how much they pitched.
waterbug : how do you find lexington compared to starkville?
John Cohen : Lexington is one of the greatest cities in America. It has a great blend of the deep south and the midwest. I have very fond memories of Starkville. Some of the finest people I have ever known reside there and it's a great college town.
jon : what's more difficult, hitting a baseball or hitting a golf ball?
John Cohen : I think hitting a golf ball where you want it to go is more difficult than hitting a baseball where you want it to go. If you hit a baseball 400 feet over the fence, you get rewarded, even if the fence is only 325 feet. But in golf, if you miss your target by 20 yards or 50 yards, you can't score well. So, I think golf is more difficult in that aspect. You can be more successful by mis-hitting a baseball than a golf ball .
Matt : What are some of the things you have your catchers work on in practice day in and day out -- what are the aspects of catching you feel are the most important?
John Cohen : Receiving is the most important part of catching. In an average college game, you have about 120-140 pitches to catch the right way. You usually only have a few chances to throw out a runner. So, I think receiving is the most important thing.
Scott Reynolds : How likely is it that the NCAA would ever push the start of the season to the summer? Do you favor a February start or would you prefer a later season opener?
John Cohen : I like the idea of separating baseball and basketball season. I think for our sport to grow and get more media and fan attention, there has to be a clear separation. Currently, there are college baseball teams who will play more than half their season before the end of basketball. I think that diminishes opportunities for our sport.
Carol : Coach, Just wanted to let you know we are excited to see the season starting. We have been following the improvements to the baseball stadium and it looks great! We are anxious to see what the Wildcats can do this season. It looks like you have a team of new players and it will be fun to see how they play together.
John Cohen : Thanks for the support. We look forward to seeing you at Cliff Hagan Stadium this year.
Will : Hey Coach. How is the construction coming along? Also, are you pleased with the talent and effort of this year's recruiting class?
John Cohen : I am very excited about this recruiting class and I think they are going to achieve unparalelled heights in Kentucky history. The construction is coming along very nicely and when it's all done, we are going to have a very, very nice facility for our players and fans.
Jessica : Which one of the players do you think has improved the most since you first saw him play?
John Cohen : I think Collin Cowgill, from the first time I saw him play in the summer after his junior year of high school, has improved more than any player I've ever seen.
UK Baseball Rox : Hi Coach, what is your favorite pro team?
John Cohen : I grew up a St. Louis Cardinal fan. But at this point, I have so many friends involved with so many organizations, it's hard to cheer for anyone.
Tyler Durden : Coach, does the SEC look to be as strong as last season? How realistic is a trip to the SEC tournament for your team this season?
John Cohen : I think the league gets better every year. As far as the SEC Tournament, obviously that would be a reward for a great year. As I mentioned earlier, getting to the SEC Tournament is the gateway to the NCAA Tournament. I try not to be realistic. I want to be idealistic with our players.
chad : who are some of the top teams in the Sec. I look forward to cheering on the cats this season! Good Luck and Go cats!
John Cohen : Thanks for the support Chad. It's extremely difficult to monitor teams from year to year because of the draft and injuries. But I think LSU is going to have a great club. Mississippi State will be much better. I think Florida has the most talented team in the league, and South Carolina has obviously shown, year in and year out, that they will do a great job. Georgia is another team that has a lot of players back from a year ago.
Matt : Catchers, perhaps more than any other position, have to be mentally into each pitch. What do you feel are the most important qualities for a catcher to have and what are some of the things you have them work on each practice?
John Cohen : Courage, intelligence, creativity, leadership skills and quickness. All those things contribute.
ukathletics.com : Thank you for joining our live chat today at www.UKathletics.com
John Cohen : Thanks to everyone for joining our chat today. We appreciate all the questions and look forward to seeing everyone at games this year. Go Big Blue!