Carl Sandburg, who as it turns out is not the father of Chicago Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg, won three Pulitzer Prizes for his poetry and a biography of Abe Lincoln. Sandburg was born in 1878 and lived in Flat Rock, North Carolina until his death in 1967. Anyway, January 6 is his birthday, so happy birthday Carl’s memory.
On to the news of the day:
1. Sen. Tim Shaughnessy came on the radio show today:
– You’ve already heard about the bill filed by the Louisville Senator that would, if enacted in its original form, require UK and UL to play in men’s basketball and football each season. Comments and relevant tweets were nearly uniform in their disgust for the legislation.
– Sen. Shaughnessy could be forgiven for attempting to sneak in a clause that would force the two schools to face off each year, as his district is U of L country and the Big East’s uncertain future may allow UK to discontinue the series. However, on the radio show today, Sen. Shaughnessy told Matt and Co. that the clause was merely a “publicity stunt” to garner public attention for the merits of the bill.
– The effectiveness of the “publicity stunt” was blunted by the lack of positive attention the “stunt” actually generated. So, either this was one of the worst executed publicity stunts in the history of publicity stunts, or the clause was just a bad idea hidden at the end of a good bill. Either way, the clause is now on the cutting room floor where it belongs.
2. Western Kentucky fired head coach Ken McDonald
– Western Kentucky announced today that head men’s basketball coach Ken McDonald was fired after starting this season with a 5-11 record. McDonald was 62-38 in his first three seasons in Bowling Green and accepted a $100,000 pay cut in order to return for the 2011 season. WKU president Gary Ransdell issued a statement in which he referred to the program as “disappointing and unacceptable” and cited low attendance as a primary concern:
“I want to challenge our fans to be in Diddle Arena tomorrow and the remainder of the season to support these young men and help rebuild this proud basketball program,”
– WKU named former Kentucky Wesleyan coach Ray Harper as interim head coach.
3. Shabazz Muhammad Update
– The Real Tyler Thompson posted about a Rivals.com update that identified Kentucky as the favorite in the Shabazz Sweepstakes. Or maybe the ‘Shabazz Derby’ is more appropriate. Either way, according to Jerry Meyer, Kentucky is in the driver’s seat.
– Neal Nieves of CaliforniaPreps.Rivals.com fame addresses the UK-UCLA-UNLV three way in today’s edition of ‘Neal’s Weekley Recruiting Mailbag’:
For Shabazz Muhammad I heard its between Kentucky or UCLA with UNLV third. In this game of recruiting things change from day to day and UNLV has a shot to land Muhammad so it wouldn’t shock me if he did stay home but at the same time at this moment I don’t see it happening.
4. MKG Injury Update
– Cal told the media today that Michael Mann-Gilchrist practiced with the team and added that MKG is “fine.” He’ll play tomorrow. That’s all I have to say about that.
5. Dunkin’ Donuts Shootout is Tomorrow
– Do you like watching future Cats dominate on the hardwood? Would you love to have your picture taken with Matt Jones? Do you want to feed Drew Franklin a donut? Are you interested in seeing Hubby for the first time with your own eyes?
– If you answered any of the above questions with “yes,” you need to show up at the Dunkin’ Donuts Shootout tomorrow night at Lexington Catholic. Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin will be playing ball while Matt, Hubby and Drew record a podcast. Games start at 7. What more could you ask for?
6. Tony Parker Gets Big Blue offer
– Dave Telep tweeted from the Mothership today that Georgia big man Tony Parker received a coveted golden ticket to play ball in Lexington. 6’8″ Parker is the #8 center in the 2012 class and a five star prospect by Scout.
– Not to rain on your parade or anything but Adam Zagoria tweeted this:
Kyle Anderson told me he talks daily with Shabazz Muhammad & Tony Parker about coming to UCLA. “We could be Final Four good” if both come.
7. Cats Tip-Off Against the Gamecocks Tomorrow
– Of course, Kentucky plays South Carolina tomorrow in Lexington at 4:00. We’ll talk about that more in-depth tomorrow.
8. Stacey Poole Leaves Lexington
– In what may be the biggest news of the evening, Stacey Poole Jr. announced his decision to transfer to Georgia Tech. Shortly after that announcement, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a story about new Tech transfer Stacey and his blue chip brother Solomon:
Georgia Tech may have just gotten inside position for one of the nation’s top college basketball prospects.
On Friday night, former Kentucky basketball player Stacy Poole decided to transfer to Georgia Tech, according to multiple media outlets.
His younger brother is one of the top high school juniors in the country, 5-star point guard Solomon Poole of Jacksonville, Fla.
The younger Poole, who plays for the Atlanta Celtics AAU team, recently told Rivals his top five schools were UGA, Memphis, Louisville, UCLA and Oklahoma State.
You might as well add Georgia Tech to that list.
OK, that’s all for tonight. See you in the a.m., friends. Go Cats. Beat Carolina.