Hello, friends. How are we? That’s good to hear. You’ll have to forgive me for running a little behind this evening; that Team USA scrimmage on NBA TV required my undivided attention. We’ll have more on that in a minute, but for now, we have a News and Views honoree to celebrate.
Drum roll please…
With apologies to the birthdays of Delonte West, Alice In Wonderland, and women’s cricket, tonight we put our hands in the air for “National All Or Nothing Day!” The holiday, made up by someone who makes up holidays and was running out of ideas, is observed by pushing your limits and going all out, or doing nothing. “Live like today is your last day on earth and let your inner daredevil shine,” they say. “Try something new, seek an adventure, and give this day all you’ve got!”
While some will take this opportunity to skydive, gamble away the mortgage or ask out a married co-worker, I plan on leaning toward the “Or Nothing” aspect of the holiday. No, that’s probably not what they had in mind when the holiday was created, but it weren’t an option, it should be called “National All Day.”
So what’ll it be for you? Are you going all out on Friday? Or are you doing nothing? It’s one or the other.
News and Views time. Hit my music…
First and foremost, if you haven’t read Drew Barker’s latest diary entry for KSR, ignore everything I have written here and get to it. Go. Go now. The future Kentucky quarterback recounted the huge recruiting weekend for Kentucky football and all the fun he had with his fellow 2014 UK commits and some of the nation’s top prospects in Lexington. It appears Drew has grown close to Matt Elam and Braxton Berrios and that friendship may go a very long way in luring at least one, if not both targets to Kentucky. Barker mentions several other talented seniors who were on campus and the likelihood Kentucky receives commitments from some of them. Yet another excellent read from Drew, who I am convinced is the best kid in all of America.
Anthony Davis shined in the aforementioned Team USA minicamp intrasquad scrimmage Thursday night. The former All-American Wildcat led the way for the blue squad with 22 points and seven rebounds in the loss. We all know how special AD is on the basketball court and it won’t be long before the entire NBA gets a taste of his greatness. He’s about to explode for the Pelicans in the next year or two. Get ready, world.
(Scroll down to see Davis’ block/dunk combination and what his teammate, John Wall, was up to.)
UK assistant coach John Robic was a guest on the second hour of Thursday’s radio show, and when he wasn’t poking fun at Matt’s athleticism, he had a lot of interesting things to say about his players. The most exciting news to hear was the progression of Alex Poythress and the role Julius Randle plays in pushing him to maximize his potential. Robic said Alex is far beyond where he was at any point last season and he credits it to having a legitimate matchup in Randle every single day. “Yes, it was frustrating [last season] because we saw the talent,” Robic said of Poythress. “He’s come so far, and I think his confidence is at a different level.”
So how much of a “legitimate matchup” is Randle for Poythress? We’ve heard a lot about him from the former NBA guys who have stopped by the Craft Center this summer, and Robic’s analysis of Randle was no different. He said, “No one is going harder than Julius. He has a MKG-like motor. If you’re in a drill with him and he bumps you, you feel it. We’re working a lot on his shot. Athletically, he’s off the charts.”
Robic also had good things to say about Marcus Lee and Dominique Hawkins. He called Lee an energy guy who gets off the floor “super quick” with a long reach. Lee needs to add strength, he says, but he’ll get a lot of putbacks, tip-ins and second opportunities. Hawkins has been a little bit of a surprise and they really like him, but he’s still adjusting to playing at such a high pace. “We really like him because he’s true point guard and he’s really going to be able to defend,” he said.
In recruiting news, Kentucky target Justice Winslow trimmed his list to eight schools and Kentucky made the cut. The 6-foot-6 wingman is down to Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas A&M, Arizona, UCLA and Stanford. He is still flirting with the possibility of joining the Okafor-Jones package deal, but he told Adam Zagoria he isn’t 100% committed to it. Kentucky is working hard to get into serious contention for all three players.
The Courier-Journal’s Kyle Tucker took a look at UK’s self-reported NCAA violations over the past year and it looks like UK was pretty clean except for a couple ridiculous slip-ups. My personal favorite:
Level I Secondary Violation (Occurred Sept. 2, 2012. Self-reported Sept. 25, 2012)
Violation of NCAA Bylaw 220.127.116.11 (electronic transmissions): Former head coach Joker Phillips said he accidentally texted a recruit. He was on the team bus on the way to the UK-UL game in Louisville. From the report: “Coach Phillips opened his text messages on his phone. He received a text message from a friend of his regarding his location. He was preparing to respond to one of his friends about the whereabouts of the bus. As he was preparing to respond (recruit’s name redacted), a 2013 prospect, sent Coach Phillips a text: ‘Hey Coach. Just wanted to say hello and wish you good luck against Louisville.’ Coach Phillips responded to (recruit’s) text by accident: ‘Hey we on the bus about 30 min out.’ Coach Phillips immediately realized that the text message was sent to (recruit redacted) instead of his friend. There was no way to retrieve the message. He immediately reported the violation to the Compliance Office.” Phillips received a letter of admonishment and did not call any recruits for 14 days (Sept. 9-22).
Another good one is former Director of Football Operations Nolan Jones reporting that the daughter of a participant in UK’s annual Women’s Clinic was at the camp with her mother, and she is considered a prospect-aged individual (15 years old) by the NCAA. Keep in mind, we’re talking about football here. And a 15-year-old girl.
When you’re done laughing at the secondary violations, here is a hilarious video of SNL cast members breaking character:
I challenge all of you to make it through without laughing.
Down in Florida, the Gators removed Aaron Hernandez’s All-American brick from the football complex.
And then they all shook their heads in disbelief at these surveillance photos of Hernandez holding what is believed to be the murder weapon, released Thursday:
And last but certainly not least, tomorrow morning’s radio show is going to be a great one and it’s worth calling in sick to work to attend if you’re in the area. Matt and Ryan will be at Safelite Glass (2271 Stanley Gault Parkway) in Louisville to give away tickets to the Louisville and North Carolina basketball games and to chat with Mark Stoops, Neal Brown and D.J. Eliot. It’s the final show of the KSR tour and we’re going out with a bang.
That’s all for tonight. I’ll text you when we in the car about 30 min out from tomorrow’s show.