January 18 Edition on News Stands Wednesday!

January 18 Edition on News Stands Wednesday!

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Kentucky Basketball — Most Valuable Cat

Most Valuable Cat—By John Huang

As Kentucky marches through the highly forgettable and/or regrettable SEC portion of their schedule on the way to post-season play, it’s time to dole out the award for the most valuable player to date. Remember that I’m NOT asking you who is the most outstanding player on this highly talented team, but rather who is the most valuable individual to the team. If the Wildcats were to lose just one player for whatever reason, who could they least afford to lose?

De’Aaron Fox would certainly be a worthy candidate. His speed and playmaking ability would definitely be missed, but I think the Cats have an adequate replacement in Dominique Hawkins. There would be a measurable drop-off for sure. However, the senior from Richmond provides enough experience, talent, and court savvy to at least keep Kentucky in the hunt for the missing Fox.

It’d be hard to argue against Malik Monk as MVP. Where would the Cats be without his 3-point shooting and acrobatic dunks? I said at the beginning of this season that outside shooting would be an Achilles heel of this team, so Monk’s absence would obviously be cause for further concern. However, also consider that this team hasn’t shot it from 3-point range all that well anyway and they’ve continued to pile up the victories. Derek Willis, Mychal Mulder, and Hawkins could be a “Monk by committee.”

How about Isaiah Briscoe? The sophomore guard has improved his shooting and overall game by leaps and bounds. He provides the necessary leadership on and off the court. He’s a matchup nightmare for most opponents Kentucky faces. Some consider him a “glue-guy,” consistently holding the team together. Others say that he’s the “heart and soul” of this team, or “the straw that stirs the drink.”  There’s a valid argument for considering Isaiah as team MVP.

With all due respect to Fox, Monk, and Briscoe, the obvious MVP choice for this version of the Wildcats is Edrice “Bam” Adebayo. If Kentucky’s recent 88-81 victory over Mississippi State in Starkvegas is any indication, the 6’10”, 260-lb freshman center is really the only reliable big man in the Wildcat’s rotation. With Bam on the bench for most of the evening in foul trouble, the Wildcats struggled—especially on defense. Despite Coach Cal’s earlier remarks that Isaac Humphries is way better this year than he was last year, the reality is that the 7-footer from Down Under is still not good enough to handle the paint down under in anything more than a backup role. It’s tough when you’re a bit slow of foot and have problems finishing one-footers around the rim. It’s even tougher when you’re a McDonald’s All-American like Sacha Killeya-Jones and you rarely even get off the bench. Cal says, “Maybe Tai’s (Wynyard) our man.” Seriously? I don’t think so. In other words, if Bam goes out for whatever reason, Kentucky’s hopes for a championship run go by the wayside. Let’s just cancel the rest of the season and start preparing for next year. Without Bam, UK has no chance. He’s the MVP.

He also happens to be one of the hardest workers on this team. “I’ve been working on everything,” Bam told me after one of the recently completed Camp Cal practices. “I’ve been working on my foot work, and my jump shots, jump hooks, my whole arsenal… When I go out there, I just give it a hundred percent.”

Still having doubts? Listen to what Coach Cal had to say about his star pupil. “He is really good,” Cal gushed. “He bounces. He stays in the stance. He can guard every position…By the end of the year, he will be that guy. That is my prediction. I asked the guys yesterday, in a group, because I brought him up a couple of times, I said, ‘Look, I am not trying to throw him in your face, but who is the hardest worker we have in the gym?’ And the group, they all pointed to Bam. And I said ‘There you go. My point is made.’ That is why he is making strides that are just crazy.”

There you go. Case closed. “By the end of the year, he will be the man.” I say he already is the man. With apologies to everyone else, Bam for MVP.

This blog posting was originally submitted as a UK Basketball Column for Nolan Group Media publications.

If you enjoy my writing, please continue to visit me at www.huangswhinings.com and follow me on Twitter @KYHuangs.

 

 

 

 

Dortha Hurley Obit

Dortha Hurley, age 97, of Richmond, Indiana, died Tuesday, January 17, 2017, at Forest Park Health Campus. Born October 8, 1919, in Clay County, Kentucky, to George and Maggie Miller Grubb. Visitation for Dortha Hurley will be from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, January 20, 2017, at Doan & Mills Funeral Home, 790 National Road West, Richmond. Funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, January 21, 2017, at Doan & Mills Funeral Home with Rev. Allen Henderson officiating. Burial will be in Lutherania Cemetery.


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Letter to the Editor

Great Once Again
By Governor Matt Bevin

This week our nation will experience a wonderful American political tradition, as we witness the peaceful transfer of executive power. The new President will assume office riding a wave of voter enthusiasm not seen since Reagan. For an accurate barometer of that enthusiasm, one should look beyond even the popular vote totals and the Electoral College. The Republican Party now holds 33 Governor’s offices, 32 State Legislatures, and has control of both legislative branches and the Governorship in 24 states. This week’s inauguration is the epitome of America’s rejection of the liberal brand of false hope and negative change. Instead, the people are passionate about the potential for positive change that President Trump represents.


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ABC Responds to Industry Growth

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Kentucky’s alcohol landscape is changing, and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) works daily to ensure that it matches industry growth with exceptional and efficient customer service. ABC has experienced an increase in call volume since SB 11 took effect, fielding approximately 85-105 phone calls each day. In addition, the department reviews and renews licenses for up to 1,400 sites each month. The work volume has not deterred department leadership from giving careful consideration to every application and inquiry received. Once a new locality officially becomes “wet,” ABC assigns a licensing specialist from the department to assist with incoming applications. The local government has the authority to write and approve ordinances, determine local ABC administrators, and impose license fees as authorized by law.


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Fight against hunger

Quarles Ryan

By Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture

The Kentucky Hunger Initiative got off to a great start in 2016. There are many ways that you can help. The easiest way is to check the box on your state income tax return – it’s on Line 33 on Form 740 – to donate part of your tax refund to the Kentucky Farms to Food Banks Trust Fund. You also may donate directly to the trust fund. Contributions to the fund are used to offset farmers’ costs for providing Kentucky-grown fruits and vegetables to food banks. The fund is administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Farmers may donate foods to nonprofit food programs and receive a state tax credit equal to 10 percent of the value of the donated product. When you donate food, you improve your cash flow while helping feed a Kentucky family.


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Thompson addresses Richmond Unity Breakfast

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Dr. Aaron Thompson addressed an audience of about 270 at Richmond’s Unity Breakfast on Monday. Thompson, a resident of Richmond and a former Eastern Kentucky University professor and administrator, is the interim president of Kentucky State University. Thompson said he grew up in Clay County where his father was a coal miner and his family lived in what he called a sharecropper’s cabin, which he also referred to as a shack. He first attended an integrated school in 1965 and his parents voted for the first time in 1968. The breakfast, organized by the Richmond Human Rights Commission, took place at the First Christian Church. EKU President Michael Benson, whose office paid for the breakfast meal, said Thompson’s story is an example of education’s power.


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