I woke up Sunday morning to the news that Rodney King had passed away. For many of our readers, that name likely means little to nothing, possibly only sparking a memory of a cast member on a season of “Celebrity Rehab” in the past. But for those of us of a certain age, Rodney King will always be a grainy home video of a day past. For a few weeks in 1992, Rodney King was the most famous man in America. The home video footage of a beating he took at the hands of the LAPD sparked a national debate, overwhelming outrage and later, after the acquittal of the officers who took part in the beating, a series of riots in Los Angeles. For many, King became the symbol of police run amok in the nation’s major urban areas. The Rodney King beating led to a nationwide debate about the role of police, what constitutes brute force and the judicial system as a whole. The LA Riots that followed the verdict tore the city apart and produced another famous victim, Reginald Denny, a white truck driver dragged out of his vehicle and beaten by local residents. After it was all said and done, 53 people were killed during the riots and over $1 billion in property damage was sustained in the LA area. During the riots, King famously gave the statement, “Can’t we all just get along”, a slogan that is still repeated often to this day. After the riots, King won a civil judgment against 2 of the 4 officers, but had a difficult life thereafter. His alcoholism led to a number of rehab stints and he was found dead this weekend in a swimming pool by his house. He was 47 years old.
From that somber note, we move to the news:
— One of the biggest changes in modern college basketball is the ability of coaches to work out their players during the summer months for 20 one-hour sessions. John Calipari had his second workout with next year’s team on Saturday and he went to Twitter to give his thoughts. While some players are not yet in town (specifically Nerlens Noel and Kyle Wiltjer), the other guys are getting used to their new surroundings. Word out of Lexington is that all those expected to look good do (Alex Poythress is going to be a hoss), but the two people I have spoken with familiar with the workouts, both raved about Willie Cauley-Stein. I have operated under the assumption that UK would have a six man rotation next year, with Cauley-Stein playing Eloy-like minutes in reserve, but his early play suggests that may not be the case. As one person who has seen Cauley-Stein a great deal said to me, “I am not sure why everyone is acting like he won’t play. He is a Top 50 guy and he will see the court a lot. He is good Matt, and you need to start letting people know that.” Consider it done.
Also the players are all sporting new National Championship rings. Here is Jared Polson, showcasing his along with a sharp new t-shirt as well:
— For all intents and purposes, this past weekend was when 2013 recruiting got down to business. Coming off the NBAPA camp, the priorities for the various teams are starting to be sorted out and the entire process is becoming a bit clearer. The Harrison Twins continue to be UK’s top priority. In two interviews this weekend, they made it seem like they want to make a decision soon rather than later. While nothing is ever assured in recruiting, if Kentucky does not end up with the Twins, it will be a gigantic upset. If they come, UK will immediately have the best backcourt in the 2013 class. James Young confirmed that he does indeed have an offer from UK, an interesting development that could mean a fourth member of the class (remember that Derek Willis has already committed) could be close to coming to fruition. Young named UK a leader even before he had an offer and one would not think actually receiving an offer would change that. What remains to be seen is how UK handles the other big man position if they dont get Jabari Parker. He is the priority and he is who Calipari covets. But a backup surely exists and that will likely be what we figure out in the coming couple of weeks. One thing is obvious…Kentucky is going to load up in 2013 like never before (except maybe 2014, which already looks good, but lets not get ahed of ourselves).
— The UK players continue their world tour of NBA Draft workouts and all six of the UK national champions have been spanning the globe. The biggest story has been the surprising fall down the draft boards of Doron Lamb. Nearly every service now has Lamb projected outside of the first round and he has begun workout for teams that are slotted at the beginning of the second round as well. For me, Lamb’s fall is a bit surprising. He is a knockdown shooter and has shown the ability to get to the basket. He won’t be an NBA star but it is hard for me to see him failing. He has always had a reputation for a slight attitude, but Calipari made it work in Kentucky, so I am not sure what the issue truly is. The next week of workouts will be important for Doron to get into the important (and guaranteed) first round.
— Gotta love the Rooster crowing golf fan that interrupted the Webb Simpson ceremony:
— Kentucky received a football commitment from Jake Boynton, an offensive lineman from UK’s second home, Georgia. Boynton is a 3 star lineman who had offers from Syracuse, South Florida and Central Florida before committing to Kentucky. He was considered a bit of a late riser, and has been recruited in recent weeks by a higher level of school, including Clemson and Georgia Tech. But because Kentucky was on in from an earlier time, he committed to the Cats. He is UK’s third commitment this week.
— Finally, it is a big week for former Cat Derek Anderson, as his new water launches this weekend with a party in Lexington. The Launch party for Victory H20 is showcased below and Derek will be in studio on KSR on Thursday to talk about the big event. Good luck to Derek and check out the party/water if you can.
We get started with a big week ahead in the morning here and on the radio. Drew Franklin is on vacation, so Tyler Thompson and I will be manning the mother ship (the most I have posted in 2 years). I hope my fingers will not be that rusty. As you get ready, check out this picture of the UK wakeboarding team, which I did not know existed, but apparently they are quite good:
(photo by Dr. Michael Huang)
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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