Thanks to my Season Never Ends calendar, we flashback to 22 years ago: on this day in 1989, Rick Pitino added 24-year-old Billy Donovan and 37-year-old Tubby Smith to his assistant coaching staff at Kentucky. Donovan earned just over $12,000 a year working as a “restricted earnings coach.” I’d say that decision has paid off, as he is one of the highest paid college basketball coaches in the nation now.
Tubby was lured away from an assistant coaching position at South Carolina, and would leave Lexington just two years later to take a head coaching job at Tulsa. For Donovan, it was his first coaching position – following Rick Pitino as a player for the New York Knicks, to being on his staff at Kentucky. He would spend six years grooming under Pitino before he left in 1994 to become a head coach at Marshall for two years, and then move to Florida when he has been for the last 16 years.
So here’s to the glory days of the Pitino era. Though neither Tubby nor Billy was here to see the 1996 championship, they surely helped to rebuild the foundation of Kentucky basketball, and restore the Wildcats atop college basketball.
On a slow news day during the off season, here is a roundup of today’s action:
– Jabari Parker was one of the most talked about guys of the day. The No. 1 player from the class of 2013 avoided the onslaught of coaches calling and texting him overnight, after the hold on contacting rising juniors was lifted at midnight. Parker has a long list of teams wanting his services, but only one coach has his number. Nobody knows who the coach was, but Jody Demling of the Courier-Journal said it’s unlikely Calipari or Pitino made contact.
– A strange trend is continuing to rise among high school juniors: skipping their senior year. Wayne Selden is joining in on the movement, reclassifying to 2013 as one of the premier point guards in the class, along with Andrew Harrison. Calipari is hot on the trail of the Harrison twins, but Selden said if the Harrison twins were to choose Kentucky, then he can’t see himself going there. Selden also said he hasn’t spoken with the UK staff recently either. My only question to him would be: Have you never heard of John Wall and Eric Bledsoe?
– Since we’re still talking about 2013, Jordan Mickey, a four-star power forward, recently took an unofficial visit in Lexington. He doesn’t have an offer from Calipari yet, but he had some good things to say about his visit today. Calipari will be watching his game closely, keep an eye on him.
– Coach Calipari is continuing his tour of the state. Take a look at how he spent the day with the National Championship trophy.
– The U.S. Open continued today and 17-year-old Beau Hossler stole the show. Kind of. At one point he held the lead, but finished the round three-over. Apparently his mom is pretty good looking? Ehh, you tell me.
– Anthony Davis finally picked an agent today. He chose to sign with Arn Tellem over Leon Rose. He joins fellow Kentucky teammates Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb, as well as Brandon Knight and Jamaal Magloire as former Wildcats to sign with Tellem.
– It was a SportsCenter “Not Top 10,” but its No. 1 in my heart. The World Burping Federation (yes, there is such a thing) has a World Champion. Tim Janus, a pizza chef from New York City has been crowned the first-ever Champ, after belching for 18.1 seconds. Take a look at the video below for the winning burp. He gives some strategy for your aspiring competitive belchers as well, so it’s worth a watch.
Delicious. It sounds like all seven people in that restaurant were really excited.
On that note, I will leave you. Until tomorrow!
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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