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Does Winning REALLY Take Care of Everything and Kentucky Wildcats Athletics are Rolling

Mar 26, 2013; Queens, NY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Matthew Mitchell celebrates with the bench during the second half against the Dayton Flyers in the second round of the 2013 NCAA womens basketball tournament at Carnesecca Arena. Kentucky won 84-70. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year again when John Calipari announces his Satellite Camps which are held at various locations all across the state.  Here is that break down.

The John Calipari Satellite Camps tour will make nine stops on five days this June.

The cost for each camp is $80 per camper and includes Camp T-shirt, three hours of instruction with Coach Calipari and the Kentucky basketball staff, competitions, autograph sessions, along with question and answer sessions with Coach Calipari.

You can register online now or on-site starting one hour before the camp opens. However, each camp has a maximum capacity and may be sold out at that time.

The dates and locations of the camps are:

Monday – June 10

— Morning session (9 a.m.-noon EST) at North Laurel High School – Open to grades K-12

— Afternoon session (1:30-4:30 p.m. EST) at Boyle County High School – Open to grades K-12

Tuesday – June 11

— Morning session (9 a.m.-noon EST) at Ryle High School – Open to grades K-12

— Afternoon session (1:30-4:30 p.m. EST) at TBA-Open to grades K-12

Wednesday – June 12

— Morning session (9 a.m.-noon EST) at Boyd County Middle School – Open to grades K-6

— Afternoon session (2-5:00 p.m. EST) at Montgomery County High School – Open to grades K-12

Thursday – June 20

— Morning session (9 a.m.-noon EST)

— Afternoon session (1:30-4:30 p.m.) both at Christian Academy of Louisville – Both camps open to grades K-12

Friday – June 21

— Morning session (9 a.m.-noon CST) at Bowling Green High School – Open to grades K-6

— Afternoon session (3-6:00 p.m. EST) at Elizabethtown High School – Open to grades K-12

 Does winning “take care of everything?”  Popular logic seems to dictate that winning does in fact take care of any personal indiscretion in the eyes of the media and fan.  The question Greg Crouch of MSN Fox Sports tackles Louisville Cardinals Head Coach Rick Pitino’s past and present with that question in mind.  It’s not pretty.  For the record, I don’t condone Pitino’s actions but hope he wins another title. 

Now that the sports world has moved on from the outrageous Nike ad with Tiger Woods and “Winning Takes Care of Everything’’ — suggesting that his personal issues and porn-star-to-pancake waitress infidelities are wiped away simply because he’s winning again — we move on to the NCAA tournament.

Rick Pitino modestly excluded himself Thursday when talking about the coaching legends at the NCAA regional this weekend in Indianapolis. It’s Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Izzo and Pitino all in one place. (No offense to the fourth coach, Dana Somethingorother.) He talked about their longevity of excellence.

So someone asked Pitino about his own longevity, through changing times.

“The kids have not changed,’’ he said, repeating something Bobby Knight had told him. “This team I’m coaching reminds me so much of the first team I coached at (Kentucky), and the ’87 team I coached at Providence …

“What’s changed dramatically are the parents. Not as much discipline in their lives. A lot of love , but not as much discipline. I don’t mean that as bad parenting …’’

I was buying in. And then it hit me: Wasn’t this the guy who was having sex with a stranger on a table in a restaurant a few years ago? He also took away Red Auerbach’s honorary title at the Celtics.

How in the hell has Pitino pulled this off? He has overcome incredible failure, personal humiliation and general personality shortcomings to become the sage of college basketball? He sounded like the wise old conscience of the game?

Winning Takes Care of Everything. Pitino is every bit the same ad for that that Woods is.

After Woods moved back to No. 1 in the world rankings this week, Nike claimed its ad wasn’t even talking about Tiger’s personal problems. In other words: Nike either lied or missed the obvious.

I’m going with lied.

While I never thought it was any of our business who Woods hooked up with, plenty of people felt that it wasn’t right to say that winning golf tournaments could wipe away all he had done behind the back of his ex-wife Elin Nordegren.

It was sending the outrageous message to athletes that they can do whatever they want as long as they win.

Outrageous.

Pitino cheated on his wife, too, and then was so angry at the coverage of it in August 2009 that he called a press conference to chastise the media for not considering that his wife was going through a hard time because the other woman was blackmailing him.

Yes, it was the blackmail that led to Pitino’s wife’s hardships, not Pitino’s actions.

Anyway, Pitino has coached six Final Four teams, and probably will get No. 7 next week. Louisville has to beat Oregon on Friday, and then the winner of Duke-Michigan State on Sunday.

Pitino is one of the best coaches in the history of college basketball. So he can sit up on the podium as if he’s on the Mount Rushmore of college coaches, and lay out great old stories and wisdom.

Someone told Pitino that Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel says great things about him.

“I’ve had over 25 assistant coaches go on to coach in college and professionals (at the head-coaching level), and they’re great friends of mine,’’ Pitino said. “And I love following every one of them. But Frank’s a special case, because he wrote me a letter and said he followed me from the Five-Star Basketball Camp, and he’d like to come work for me.

“He was a high-school kid at the time. … He moved from manager to a GA (grad assistant) to a video guy, traveled with me with the Celtics. And now I look back on that letter today; he’s doing an unbelievable job with the Indiana Pacers. Couldn’t be more proud.’’

Like I said, I was buying it. I am buying in. He kept drawing me in with his stories. He is that great of a coach. For years people thought of his car-salesman personality and personal issues and sort of didn’t realize that he’s a genius coach.

Now, winning has taken care of everything.

He mentioned the Celtics? He was a colossal failure with the Celtics. His ego was so massive that he wanted to be above even the Celtics grand history and legends. So he removed Auerbach’s title of team president. Then, he nearly buried the franchise with his mishandling of, basically, every detail.

This guy has been about greed, self-absorption and an inability to fight back temptation.

Now he’s a guru.

Pitino has had a tendency through his career to charm everyone to death before burning all bridges. Never again.

He has won too much.

Kentucky is rolling.  Just rolling.  Though our Men’s Basketball Team had a down season, we still have plenty to cheer for as our Bat Cats are currently ranked #8 in the country and pulled out a 3-2 victory in 10 innings last night of the series opener with SEC rival Georgia Bulldogs.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Sophomore Max Kuhn drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk in the bottom of the 10th inning to force in the walk-off run, leading No. 8 Kentucky to a 3-2 series-opening win over Georgia, on Friday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

VIDEO: Kuhn, Reed, Henderson on win

Kentucky (20-5, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) saw its 2-1 lead erased in the bottom of the ninth inning, as the Bulldogs plated a game-tying run with two outs and two strikes off UK record-setting closer Trevor Gott.

After a scoreless bottom of the ninth, the Wildcats mounted the game-winning rally with one out in the bottom of the 10th. Shortstop Matt Reida drew a one-out walk to spark the charge, with Georgia then turning to closer and rightfielder Jared Walsh to face UK All-America centerfielder Austin Cousino. Cousino and then Zac Zellers drew clutch walks to load the bags for A.J. Reed – who took a hard-luck, no-decision as the starting pitcher. On a 1-2 count, Walsh’s breaking ball skidded away from catcher Brett DeLoach, who took over behind the plate in the ninth. Reida took off from third and was out sliding at the plate for the second out. Reed then took a ball and was hit by a full-count pitch to load the bases for Kuhn with two outs.

A native of Zionsville, Ind., Kuhn drew four consecutive balls to draw the game-winning, walk-off walk and force in Cousino with the decisive run. The walk was Kuhn’s team-high 23rd of 2013, with the infielder owning a 23-16 walk-strikeout ratio. Kuhn has the most walks for a UK player through the first 25 games of the season since All-America outfielder Sawyer Carroll drew 25 walks in his first 25 games of 2007.  

On A.J. Reed’s domination

Reed worked 8.1 dominating innings, allowing only six hits and one run, not issuing a walk and striking out four. He left with a 2-1 lead, the bases clear and one out in the top of the ninth inning, with Gott taking over in relief.

“One earned run over eight and a third, so not a lot to poke at in that outing,” UK head coach Gary Henderson said. “Really impressed. Once again, A.J. is at his absolute best when he needs to be. He’s got a guy at third base or guys at second and third and less than two (outs) and he shows up. I don’t think they keep those stats, but if they did, he’d be leading the country in that one.”

Series

The series will resume on Saturday, with first pitch set for 2 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with Dick Gabriel voicing the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the game live on WWTF 1580-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com. UK will send senior southpaw Jerad Grundy (5-1, 1.99 ERA) to mound to face Georgia junior southpaw Patrick Boling (1-3, 3.93 ERA).

Speaking of A.J. Reed, his worth cannot be overvalued on the mound or at the plate.

A.J. Reed has a lot on his plate.

Just a sophomore, Reed has batted third or fourth in every Kentucky game this season. And oh yeah, he starts on the mound every Friday night in the nation’s best conference.

“It’s not easy, but I try to deal with it the best that I can,” Reed said.

It’s safe to say Reed is handling it all just fine.

Through 25 games, Reed is leading the Wildcats in home runs (six), runs batted in (28) and slugging percentage (.611). In six starts on the mound, Reed has an earned-run average of 2.57.

“I just kind of try to separate,” Reed said. “When I’m pitching up there on the mound, that’s all I think about. When I’m at the plate, that’s what I’m thinking about.”

On Friday night against Georgia, he had to put that balancing act to the test once again and once again he succeeded. Reed tossed 8.1 innings of one-run ball, allowing just six hits and striking out four. After retiring the first batter of the ninth inning on his 113th pitch, Reed gave way to closer Trevor Gott. For the first time this season and first since his first chance of 2012, Gott blew the save opportunity, costing Reed his third victory of the season.

With Reed’s pitch count sitting at 97 through seven innings, Henderson opted to send the 6-foot-4, 245-pound lefthander out for another inning. And with a lefty due up for Georgia in the top of the ninth, Henderson asked Reed for one more out. He delivered.

“The debate’s probably going on up there in the press box,” Henderson said of his decision to leave Reed in the game. “There wasn’t too much debate going on in the dugout.”

Reed has a theory about why Henderson has so much faith in him, why his coach has sent him out for another inning with his pitch count hovering around triple digits each of his last two starts.

“I think a lot of it has to do with the regional game from last year,” Reed said. “I went nine innings in relief, so that kind of proved to him that I could do a good job throwing in the later innings.”

In that game against Kent State, Reed battled through cramps and exhaustion to pitch nine frames in extra innings, allowing just two runs. Even though it came in a losing effort, Reed believes he earned his coach’s trust.

Entering Friday, Reed was batting 13-for-26 (.500) with 12 RBI, two home runs, a triple and a double in games he’s pitched. Those gaudy numbers have come in spite of a realization on Reed’s part of how vital his work on the mound is.

“I don’t want to say in the games that I pitch I’m more focused on pitching, because I’m not, but it’s more important at the time,” Reed said.

If the Men’s NCAA Tourney isn’t satisfying your basketball fix, then why not follow the Women’s Tourney where the #2 seed Kentucky Wildcats Women’s team is currently in the Sweet 16 and facing the #6 Delaware Blue Hens?  That’s a rhetorical question.  Watch it.  If you need two reasons, the first is because the UK women can always use the support and the second is because of Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne.  Chris Elsberry of the Courier-Journal has the write up.

“I don’t know if there’s another person like Elena,” Mitchell said Friday as his Wildcats, the Bridgeport Regional’s No. 2 seed, prepared for their matchup against the sixth-seeded Blue Hens today at noon (ESPN) at the Webster Bank Arena. “What makes her so unique is her versatility and her ability with her size (6 feet 5) to impact the game in different areas of the court.”

Mitchell compared her versatility to Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, and her dominance and game-altering inside presence to Baylor’s Brittney Griner.

“With Elena, you have to be ready for a variety of things,” he said, “ so I don’t know if there’s a player of her size that can handle the basketball and shoot the basketball. She’s a unique player.”

Delle Donne has scored 33 points in each of the Blue Hens’ two NCAA Tournament games. Delaware had to rally from double-digit, second-half deficits in each to make the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.

And while Delle Donne, who’s averaging 25.8 points and 8.4 rebounds, is the Blue Hens do-all player, Delaware also has senior guard Laura Carra (10.7 points), senior forward Danielle Parker (8.9 points), and senior guard Kayla Miller (3.1 assists).

“I think it’s a mistake to just say that’s the only thing you need to do to beat Delaware,” Mitchell said of Delle Donne. “I think they have an outstanding team. I think the reason they’re playing so well is her teammates know how to play with her. They do a great job of getting her the ball, so it’s a great challenge to try and keep the ball out her hands, and I think that’s where we’ll start.”

And Plan B?

“We’re going to try to make it into a fast game, an up-tempo game and what we always do is try to make it very difficult for players to catch the basketball in a comfort zone,” Mitchell said. “The challenge with Elena is that she’s very comfortable in a lot of sports on the floor, so that makes the job a little tougher.”

And as an added bonus, though I loathe to include this, William Wesley (World Wide Wes) was not allowed entry into an “credentialled” areas of Lucas Oil Stadium last night. 

UPDATE: NCAA media rep says Wesley is allowed to enter with a ticket but cannot go into credentialed areas. Picture was distributed to security to keep him out of credentialed areas.

Reports say the NCAA is not allowing “World Wide Wes” to attend in credentialed areas at the Midwest Region semifinals here tonight at Lucas Oil Stadium. The picture of William Wesley has reportedly been given to security officials.

Talked to Wes, but he did not wish to be quoted. He is in the arena.

— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) March 29, 2013

 

Pictures of William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley have been distributed to security guards. He isn’t allowed in the building tonight

— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) March 29, 2013

 

Worldwide Wes is persona non-grata at NCAA Tournament Security has this picture and will take him out of stadium twitter.com/UofLSheriff50/…

— Mark Blankenbaker(@UofLSheriff50) March 29, 2013

Tags: 2013 NCAA Women's Tournament Baseball Basketball Articles Kentucky Wildcats

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