Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

November 21, 2012

In The Post: Two shades of blue

By Grant Stevens - Sports Editor
Journal-Times

Nov. 21, 2012 — Head Coach Sean Woods and the Eagles are flying high right now, winning three of its first four games in 2012.

A trip down memory lane is in store for the former UK star, as he sets to make his return to Rupp Arena where he became known as one of the “unforgettables.”

Literally speaking, there isn’t a lot riding on this game for either team. On any other year, this would be just another matchup in what has come to be a common occurrence for the Eagles to make the trip down I-64 to Lexington.

But this isn’t any other year. This is a year of new beginnings for the Morehead State men’s basketball program, and with the former UK star at its helm, the contest certainly becomes a bit more interesting.

Now sporting Eagle blue as opposed to Wildcat blue, this game is most likely an emotional battleground for Woods.

The number-two recruiting class in the nation is the challenge that awaits the Eagles; something Kentucky coach John Calipari has made a trend of during his time on the bench in Lexington.

The Cats have also made a habit of sending its top freshman on to the next level after one year, as the defending national champions reload in 2012 with another new lineup of premiere recruits in Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin and others.

Facing the No. 8 team in the nation, what does this game truly mean for Woods and the Eagles? It’s a game of pride.

MSU has put up some big numbers in its first three games, including 101 points and five double-digit scorers against Alice Lloyd just last week. Those big numbers will truly be put to the test tomorrow night, and if the Eagles can hold their own against Cal’s Cats, then we can assume Woods’ hopes of becoming ‘the Gonzaga of the Southeast’ can get a head start early in his career.

Make no mistake, I understand this may look like a case of David vs. Goliath, and maybe it is. But remember the last time we had a scenario like this…ahem, Louisville anyone?

Anything is possible whenever two teams take the court, and while Woods and the Eagles may not be predicted to grab a win at Rupp Arena, this doesn’t mean they can’t give UK a scare.

I for one am excited to witness a new era in what could turn into another interstate rivalry.

Move over Rick (Pitino), there’s another former Wildcat looking to play rival to his former team.

We will have live updates of Morehead State vs. Kentucky from Rupp Arena on Twitter @themoreheadnews tomorrow night.

Grant Stevens can be reached at gstevens@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.