Kentucky mailbag: Lynn Bowden, basketball recruiting and … life insurance?


Kentucky opens SEC play at South Carolina on Saturday, and while we do answer a few football questions, this week’s mailbag drifted into areas that may or may not have anything to do with University of Kentucky athletics.

We’ll be taking your questions every week on Twitter at: @KyleTucker_SEC, @joe_mussatto and @SECCountryUK. Then every Wednesday you can find the answers here.

Let’s get to it.

UK 2-0 @Jordan_Wilson5:  After that massive block (not targeting) does Lynn Bowden get more offensive snaps with the respect he earned in the locker room?

Joe: He’ll get more snaps on Saturday, but I think it’ll be because of ability rather than any respect he might’ve gained. We talked to Bowden for the first time on Tuesday, and he seemed confident. There’s no doubt he would’ve played a significant role against Eastern Kentucky had he not been ejected. But as we wrote yesterday, maybe the mystery around what Bowden can or can’t do will work in Kentucky’s favor at South Carolina. Quarterback Stephen Johnson said there are plays centered around Bowden, but there’s no way for Will Muschamp and company to prepare for them. There’s no film.

elon/musk @gdbwrx:  It seems like Duke is the ‘hot’ team in recruiting right now. What does that mean for UK for this year and the next several? … Does Cal adjust his strategy? His pitch to recruiters? Staff? Or just let the Duke love run its course?

Kyle: First of all: Kentucky and Duke are the only teams in each other’s stratosphere right now in recruiting. Only Kansas and Arizona  come close on a consistent basis. The Wildcats and Blue Devils have essentially ranked 1-2 in recruiting every year since John Calipari arrived in Lexington. But is Duke really running away from Kentucky?

Using the RSCI ranking (a composite of all the various player rankings), the Devils signed the No. 1, 5, 7, 14 (tie), 59 and 69 players in the Class of 2017. The Cats signed No. 10, 13, 14 (tie), 18, 23, 30 and 72 — plus Hamidou Diallo, a top-10 player whose rankings are thrown off because he enrolled midseason but sat out.

Sure, Duke got more top-end guys, but Kentucky ended up with seven top-30 guys to four for Coach K. And the year before? The Devils signed No. 2, 3 (tie), 11, 14 and 35, while the Cats signed No. 6, 8, 9, 13 and 21 — and Duke lost in the NCAA second round while UK lost on a buzzer-beater in the Elite Eight.

The frustration for BBN seems to be that Mike Krzyzewski and Co. have gotten more guys lately from the very top of the rankings —the Devils have signed five top-5 recruits to the Cats’ one in the last three classes — and they’ve already beaten Kentucky for top 5 Cam Reddish in the Class of 2018.

But Calipari and his staff are recruiting at a ridiculous clip, and they’re very much in the mix with No. 1 R.J. Barrett, No. 2 Zion Williamson and No. 3 Bol Bol in this latest class. So I wouldn’t push the panic button yet.

Brian Howard @Bho2373: Since you have such great hair, can you tell me how many times a week I should wash mine?

Kyle: I wash my hair every day, but the key is my very fancy shampoo: Head and Shoulders.

Howard Pieratt @hfpieratt: How would you grade the coaching performances of UK head coach, OC, DC, special teams?

Joe: That’s a tough one because coaches know a lot more about football than I do, but overall I think the staff has been solid. Mark Stoops said at the beginning of the season he felt good about this staff. The defensive coordinator transition from D.J. Eliot to Matt House has been smooth, and Kentucky’s defense has been the strength of the team so far. House and Stoops deserve a lot of credit for that, and we’ll see if it continues as the schedule gets tougher. I think Dean Hood was a great get. He’s respected by others on the staff and his players seem to respond to him. His work with the outside linebackers is as important as what he does on special teams. I think Eddie Gran has the toughest job right now. A lot of the weapons he could’ve had (Boom Williams, Jeff Badet, Dorian Baker) are gone and Cole Mosier’s injury threw a wrench in the offensive line rotation. Gran also had three experienced running backs last season and now has one in Benny Snell. It’s safe to say Gran has a lot of issues to work through as Kentucky’s offensive personnel has been decimated.

Josiah Durham @josiahdurham:  At what age should I consider getting life insurance?

Kyle: If you have kids, get it now. If your wife cooks for you or has access to your car’s brakes, get it now but tell her you don’t have any and are therefore only valuable to her while alive.

Joe: I have no earthly idea.

Anthony @xynie:  Pineapple – acceptable pizza topping?

Kyle: Depends. Are you just using your pizza as a gooey fruit tray? No? Then no. Lots of meat, lots of cheese, easy on the sauce, the end. You start putting fruit and vegetables on that thing and it’s just a hot salad. Gross.

Joe: I was once against this. Now I find it quite enjoyable. But can we agree this should only be a summertime treat?

Shaun Dunn @Dunn30:  Predictions of who signs for UK basketball for the 2018 class

Kyle: This is a really tough one to call. This week’s in-home and on-campus visits are huge, as are a couple coming up in the next month. They’re almost a lock to get point guard Immanuel Quickley, seem to be in great shape with power forward Simi Shittu and are strong contenders for small forwards R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson. I think they have ground to make up on shooting guard Keldon Johnson (his official visit this weekend could achieve that) and Bol Bol (Calipari’s in-home this weekend and his official visit for Big Blue Madness should help). Shooting guard Romeo Langford is almost certainly not coming to Kentucky, point guard Darius Garland seems like a long shot and combo guard Quentin Grimes (who Calipari visited in Houston last week) feels unlikely but not out of the question. That’s really not predicting who signs, but hopefully it helps.

Kentucky Glenn @lil_donnie_t: Should I start playing the stock market or just bury my money in the backyard and wait 20 years to see if it grows interest?

Kyle: I’ve been pondering this — I’m totally serious here — because it seems more and more likely that our next devastating terrorist attack will be digital, and what better way to throw America into utter chaos than by wiping out all of our “money,” which for most of us is not actual money but online money. This is a question that worries me. So please don’t go digging up my backyard, OK?

Joe: I’m no financial analyst but digging up Kyle’s yard sounds promising.

Kentucky Glenn @lil_donnie_t: Also, mayonnaise? Delicious or Trash?

Kyle: Neither. It’s perfectly acceptable as a means to hold together a sandwich and mitigate dryness — but we’re talking a very, very small amount here. If there’s enough to actually taste it, or get a big blob in your mouth, gag.

Joe: I don’t often agree with Kyle, but man did he nail that mayonnaise analysis.

Colby Brown @SirColbyBrown: Everyone is sick of the wildcat, but what about Lynn getting a try at it. He was a QB in high school? I’ll hang up and listen.

Joe: As Bowden said Tuesday:  “That’s something for the spectators to see by themselves.” In other words, yes, I’d expect him to take snaps in the wildcat on Saturday. As you said, he was a quarterback in high school, so not only is he comfortable taking a snap, but he could also give Kentucky a passing option out of the wildcat. Even if he didn’t pass out of it, the presence of that threat would change how defenses line up against it.

Curtis Burch @curtisburch: Is it OK to giggle when people talk about South Carolina tailgating and mention Cockaboose?

Kyle: You don’t call something a “cockaboose” unless you want them to giggle at it. Just ask my wife.

Joe: No comment.

The post Kentucky mailbag: Lynn Bowden, basketball recruiting and … life insurance? appeared first on SEC Country.


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