Big Blue Notes

Eric Howard is a Calvert City native who lives in Lexington and is a committed UK Wildcat fan. His column 'Big Blue Notes' appears regularly in The Lake News.

Eric Howard is a Calvert City native who lives in Lexington and is a committed UK Wildcat fan. His column ‘Big Blue Notes’ appears regularly in The Lake News.

Cleveland’s title is a win for UK fans
The Cavaliers’ dramatic seven-game NBA Finals victory may not draw much of a reaction for most Kentucky residents, but fans of the Wildcats should be thankful. Lebron James and company had to overcome a 3-1 deficit to bring a title to Cleveland.  In doing so, they likely helped extend John Calipari’s time in Lexington.

Dan Gilbert, majority owner of the Cavaliers, has long had an eye for Kentucky’s John Calipari.  If not for the Harrison twins opting to return for their sophomore season in 2014, Calipari likely would have accepted Gilbert’s massive offer to take over the Cleveland organization. At the time, Lebron’s return to Cleveland was expected, and James’ fondness for Calipari was well known.

Instead, Calipari decided to stay in Lexington and Cleveland hired David Blatt. Fast forward two years and Blatt was let go mid-season. Rookie head coach Tyronn Lue was tabbed to take the reins on Januray 22.

Now with Lue bringing a title home to Cleveland in his rookie campaign, Lebron James’ second stint in Cleveland appears to be harmonious and stable and without a need for John Calipari. And with that, Wildcat fans should be thankful for the Cavaliers’ title.

Entire roster on campus
For the first time in the John Calipari era, the entire roster of Wildcats are on campus and enrolled in summer school. While taking summer classes, the Wildcats are also playing pick-up games, lifting weights, and building team chemistry. With five freshmen expected to play critical roles in the upcoming season, getting to campus early should pay big dividends in fall.

Calipari named to committee on selection process
The NCAA appears to be acknowledging its seeding mistake with the Wildcats during this past year’s tournament. After naming Mitch Barnhart to a five-year term on the NCAA selection committee, John Calipari has been named to an ad hoc committee on seeding and bracketing that will present suggestions to the NCAA.

Calipari will represent the Southeastern Conference on the committee.  Other notable coaches selected include Bob Huggins, Mark Gottfried, and Mark Few.

Barnhart names new baseball coach
University of Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart has tabbed Nick Mingione as the Wildcats’ next baseball coach.  Mingione will replace Gary Henderson, who resigned following the Wildcats season this past spring. Mingione takes over the Kentucky program after spending eight years as an assistant at Mississippi State.  The new Kentucky head coach also served as an assistant for the Wildcats in 2006-07.

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