While standing on the sideline during the third quarter of Saturday’s game, I felt a hearty slap on my back and turned around and saw potentially the state’s newest dynamic duo, Richie Farmer and the Heavy Hitter, Darryl Isaacs. I got to know the Heavy Hitter about a year ago and can attest to the fact that he is one of the nicest, most genuine people you will ever meet and one of the biggest Kentucky fans around. He is friends with Richie, who in addition to being the State Agricultural Commissioner, is also my childhood hero from Eastern Kentucky. The two guys were on the field soaking up the UK atmosphere (and were able to wear UK shirts, which I am not at games) and helped me produce one of my favorite pictures in a long time. After the game, I showed the picture to about ten people and all ten of them knew one of the people in it….the Heavy Hitter. Richie had a Q rating of about 60 percent, but the Heavy Hitter was known by all…proving that he truly has become the unofficial celebrity of the state. This picture now joins my favorites list, along with my picture getting down with Janet Reno at a dance party (you read that correctly). Three big Cat fans, all with a bit of absurdity….
To some news….
(1): The biggest news of the night is that we are winding down on the Stacey Poole recruitment. He came back from his UK visit and did an interview with Dustin Rumbaugh, which you can read below. Basically Stacey said he had a great time and UK is going to be his only official visit. He plans on making a decision sometime this week and it could be by Tuesday. Most everyone has thought that UK was the leader for Poole for a long time and all signs point to him pulling the trigger and picking the Cats. However in recruiting, it isnt over till its over and as of yet, its not over. But all have wondered when the first 2010 commitment will take place….it might be worth hitting refresh over the next two days to find out.
(2): Brandon Knight was also on that visit, but less is known about his time. Most everyone who saw Brandon (as I said before, judging by pictures taken, everyone did), seems to say that he had a good time but as of yet, no one has done an interview with him about the trip. Knight has such immense talent, that he is going to have options with UCONN, Kansas and Miami and it is very well possible that it could be the “roller coaster” recruitment of the 2010 class. However UK got to showcase its best foot this week and I am told that most of his visit was spent with John Wall and DeAndre Liggins throughout town. Knight is expected to come in and take over the PG position if he comes here, so it will be interesting to see what the results will be of his trip.
(3): Also tonight we had the potential for one of those “changes in the way its done” things in recruiting. UK and Duke recruit Kyrie Irving did a webtv chat with the fans for over 2 hours tonight, talking to Duke and Kentucky fans via streaming video on the internet. Over the course of those two hours, fans of both schools alternated between asking questions, talking trash and acting silly, but throughout Irving showed composure, intelligence and illustrated why both schools are so interested in him….at least for the ten minutes I watched. In the streaming, he said that he would decide in November, announce via Twitter and basically gave few clues as to where he would go. More significantly longterm however, one has to wonder what this event will lead to. Because the NCAA has the unenforceable rule that fans cant try to convince players to come to their school, both team’s fans could conceivably be in violation based on tonight. But it isnt UK or Duke’s fault that it occurred and Irving seemed to be having a blast with the experience. This really could be the start of a new era in recruiting and Irving may be a bit of a groundbreaker in the process…but the compliance officers at the schools may be shaking in their boots in the process. Technology has rendered the NCAA’s current rules inadequate…we will just have to wait and see when they figure it out.
(4): How about a chance for a teaching lesson for UK? The above picture shows Derrick Locke on his kickoff return, letting the ball loose just a split-second before he entered the endzone. The referees made no call and so its a “no harm, no foul” kind of thing. But it might be a good teaching tool to use with the team in the coming weeks. As Brooks said afterwards, better to teach after a win than a loss, but Locke may want to hold onto the ball a bit better in the games ahead.
We have a full day of stuff for you coming, but we also have this, a picture from Pat Appleman of the Army Corp of Engineers, who is currently serving in Iraq. He got members of the Iraqi army to take this picture after the UK-UL game. Its yet another picture that I love and gives the Bluegrass rivalry a worldwide appeal.