Dick Tracy. What About Bob? Hook. Can’t Hardly Wait. Is Charlie Korsmo the greatest actor of our generation? With that lineup, he just might be. The former child star and current lawyer and political activist turns 33 this beautiful Wednesday and I’d like to write a lot of wonderful things about him. Unfortunately, we do not have that time. So that’s all he gets. In hindsight, it’s probably more than he deserved. Oh well.
A few UK notes…
(1) The big story of the day was one that was ultimately disappointing as the offseason back-and-forth between North Carolina and Kentucky continued. The Cats had Jay-Z and the Tar Heels had Snoop. They brought Zeller, Henson and Barnes back to campus for another year, we brought back Jones, Lamb and Polson. They got an aircraft carrier game, we got Madison Square Garden. Now, just days after reserve guard Leslie McDonald tore his ACL at the NC ProAM, Jon Hood suffered a torn ACL in a pickup game. Hood’s knee has swelling and bruising at the moment, so surgery is not immediately scheduled and it appears that he’ll be more than likely done for the season. And while it’s a personal disappointment and a loss for this year’s Kentucky team, it might not end up working out too badly for Hood if he redshirts this season. Next season’s roster will, at worst, present the same opportunity for playing time and, at best, give him a little more room to work his way into the rotation if Doron Lamb and Michael Gilchrist leave along with Darius Miller and only two freshmen fill in their spots. More importantly, I think there’s a possibility that he could earn the distinction of having been on the team for more wins than anyone in the history of the program. Someone needs to look it up. Regardless, let’s hope he can keep his spirits up and get himself ready to go again whenever that may be.
(2) Somewhat along those same lines, you have to feel good about the blurb from Anthony Davis’ profile on CoachCal.com that said Davis, Terrence Jones, Jarrod Polson, Stacey Poole and Twany Beckham were winning nearly every pickup game they played this summer. This is either an indication that Davis is a man-child, Davis and Jones are potent together or that Polson, Poole and Beckham are making great improvements in their game. An overused phrase in basketball is that “players grow the most between their freshmen and sophomore years” and Calipari clearly expects that out of Jones. If Polson and, more importantly, Poole are able to make a major leap in year two of their Kentucky career, this team might be even better than we all hope.
(3) On a more positive note, football season gets its official unofficial start Wednesday as the SEC Media Days get underway in in Hoover, Alabama. As Tennessee reporter Wes Rucker put it, there will 1,000 reporters and 10 good questions. Joker Phillips will make the trip, as will Morgan Newton, Stuart Hines and Danny Trevathan, but they won’t step up to take questions until Thursday. So, technically, the official unofficial start of Kentucky’s football season won’t be until Thursday, I guess. I can’t wait to find out who this season’s virgin is. Thank goodness for Clay Travis.
(4) The lingering story in the college basketball world continued to be the Ponzi scheme that roped in a number of coaches, including the free-spending Billy Gillispie. Late Tuesday night, reports started to creep out that the NCAA is starting to look into the Ponzi scheme and former Houston player Moses Malone, Jr., a former Houston Elite player, said he’d already been contacted. As Matt pointed out on Twitter, the good chunk of the money he invested with David Salinas occurred while he was at UK, but it appears that Gillispie’s only linked to stupidity at this point. Nonetheless, it’s a story that will continue to grow and is worth at least monitoring. Even if it’s just to figure out who you should be targeting as an investment partner on that million dollar idea you have.
(5) In case you didn’t know, ESPN is taking over the world. A pair of peculiar stories involving the Worldwide Network popped up on the radar Tuesday and one seems odd and the other just seems flat-out ludicrous. First, it was reported that ESPN will begin placing Twitter feeds on their website, but they’ll be including non-ESPN reporters in them, most notably Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowksi, who broke NBA draft selections prior to them airing on the network. If I were a respected and legitimate journalist at a competitor, I’m not sure I’d be too thrilled with ESPN essentially using me for free on their site. In fact, I’m not sure how that’s even legal. However, it seems fairly benign when compared to the other report.
ESPN’s new baby, the Longhorn Network, will air the games of Texas recruiting targets as a part of their programming. Is that a recruiting advantage? Definitely. Is it legal? We’ll have to see. According to Sports By Brooks, the programming will be planned with UT AD DeLoss Dodds, meaning he can essentially pick and choose which players get showcased on the pro-Texas network. And while the majority of the discussion has centered around football, it’s only logical to assume that they’ll also be airing the games of top basketball prospects as well. If the Longhorns are in a fight for one of the nation’s elite players in either sport and they decide to go to Austin by citing that positive attention as part of the reason, there are going to be angry mobs descending on Indianapolis. Of course, that’s pretty much every day around there. Still, it’s an announcement that seems like it’s going to create some major issues.
(6) David Stern and his band of merry suits released the 2011-12 NBA schedule for anyone still optimistic that there might be an actual season. For Kentucky fans, the big date of intrigue is the annual Rookie-Sophomore game, which will be held (cross your fingers) February 24 in Orlando. Here are other notable personal matchups that you can start planning your travel/DVR schedule around (cross your fingers):
John Wall vs. Brandon Knight
November 25 (Detroit), February 22 (Washington)
Eric Bledsoe vs. Brandon Knight
Dec. 16 (Detroit), March 18 (Los Angeles)
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Enes Kanter
Nov. 23 (Sacramento), Jan. 30 (Utah), March 22 (Sacramento)
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Jorts
Nov. 21 (Sacramento), Jan. 16 (New York)
Patrick Patterson vs. Enes
Nov. 1 (Season opener in Utah), Nov. 5 (Houston), Dec. 28 (Utah), April 4 (Houston)
Patrick Patterson vs. Jorts
Jan. 9 (New York), Jan. 28 (Houston)
And for those of you in Kentucky always willing to travel over to Indianapolis to catch your favorite former Cats face off with the Pacers, here are the dates that you’ll have a chance to see this year’s crop of rookies first hand:
Enes Kanter: Sunday Dec. 18
Brandon Knight: Tuesday Nov. 22, Monday Dec. 26
Josh Harrellson: Tuesday Dec. 13, Wednesday Feb. 15
DeAndre Liggins: Tuesday Nov. 15, Tuesday Jan. 24
(7) John Calipari was in Washington, D.C. Tuesday spreading the Big Blue word at the U.S. Capitol. We never found out what he was up to on the trip, but there is some good news. Calipari at least made one friend. We can all at least celebrate that.
That’s it for now. Make sure you stick around all day for all the wholesome goodness you’ve come to expect on any Wednesday on Kentucky Sports Radio. As usual, the ball will get rolling with the radio show at 10am on Talk Radio 1080. If you stick around long enough, you can even hear me mumble my way through a segment with Tom Leach. Get excited. In the meantime, someone get the number to Steve Johnson’s baker on the phone. My grandma has a birthday coming up…
See you in a few…