The picture above is from a simpler time in my life. It was taken my Freshman year at Transylvania, when my friends and I “won” a contest to sleep a night in Raf’s Tomb in the building of Old Morrison. Not only does everyone above look much younger than they do now (although in my case with, unbelievably, worse hair), it also is appropriate since tonight Kentucky will renew its century-old rivalry with Transylvania in Rupp Arena. We at Transy have waited over a century to make the four block walk down to Rupp Arena to play against the Cats again. And now, that moment is here. For me, it is odd having my two worlds collide. On the one hand, you have my favorite team in all of sports and the one who essentially provides my living on a daily basis. And on the other hand, my alma mater, a school I loved to attend and who I would have never imagined would ever actually play the Big Blue. KSR’s history with Transylvania is strong. The Turkey Hunter, Mosley, Tomlin, Hubby, Duncan Cavanah, Macon Vol Fan and I, all of whom were part of the creation of the site went to school there. Most of us will be in attendance tomorrow night as the Pioneers take their 50 point beating on behalf of John Breckenridge, Stephen F Austin, John Marshall Harlan, Cassius Clay, Ned Beatty, Teresa Isaac, Judge Karen Caldwell, Vince Bingham, Bob Fleu and all the other famous Transylvania alumni. I set the line at 43 1/2 and I believe we will cover.
To the news of the day:
— The big news broke late, as word of a possible transfer from Kentucky became prevalent. The name was first kept quiet, but it wasn’t a surprise as it leaked out late that Stacey Poole was contemplating leaving the UK basketball program. His father did an interview with the Courier Journal in which he seemed to suggest that the impetus for the potential transfer had less to do with Stacey himself, and maybe more to do with his father’s desire to see his son play more often. He said,
“in love with UK basketball, but at the end of the day, you need to be on the floor. You’re not part of UK basketball if you never step on the floor. What he doesn’t see, I may have to see it for him. He may have a little too much blue in his eyes.”
“I want to look in his eyes and see what’s what,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m going to make the call. He’s 20, but he’s still a kid. Four years from now, he can blame his father if it doesn’t work out.”
Some pretty astounding words there from Poole’s father if you think about it. For Poole’s dad to suggest that “at the end of the day, I’m going to make the call” about his 20 year old son is bizarre. Being a controlling parent is one thing, but to literally admit in a newspaper that you are going to plan the direction of your adult child’s life is without question, strange. Even though his father says he will come see him this weekend, the early part of the decision may have to come sooner. If Poole plays in the exhibition game against Transy, he will lose a semester of eligibility. That means, unless he is sure he is staying or is willing to forfeit that year, uncertainty could lead to him staying off the court. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out for Stacey. There is playing time to get this year (UK only has two true guards out of the main 7), but it isn’t clear if he will earn it.
— Calipari had a number of words to say about his team today, but most interestingly were his comments saying that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is “vicious” as a player. He said that the past week of practice from Gilchrist has been outstanding and said his practice two days ago was as good as he has ever had from a player. Now that type of hyperbole is Rick Pitino-esque, but it does suggest that one of the things I was concerned about, tempering expectations for Gilchrist, is not a Calipari worry. Having seen Michael a decent amount, I have been under the assumption that it would take him some time to really adjust to the college game and find his offensive skill set (he will be a beast defensively from day one). But Calipari seems to disagree, or at least expect a great deal early on. I will take his word over mine and assume big things.
— Kentucky may be close to losing its first big-time football commitment since the problems on the field began. Shadrach Thorton, a RB from Georgia who looked to be a HUGE get for UK early in the year has re-opened up the process, visiting this weekend at Georgia Tech. He said the Tech visit was great and he is also looking at Vanderbilt, a program that is all of a sudden, becoming a very solid recruiting group. We hope this isnt the first of many, as keeping this class together will be a huge test for Joker Phillips and Tee Martin. Those two have proven to be very successful at bringing guys in, now keeping them will be huge this offseason.
— Max Smith has the lead on the QB job according to Phillips going into the Ole Miss game. He has excelled in practice and it looks like the performance on the field against Miss State should make him the pick this week. I think it is a no-brainer choice and if Joker goes in a different direction, he will receive a great deal of push back from a fanbase that needs all positivity possible.
We will have pre-game coverage of Transylvania all day long here on the site as we get ready for opening night in Rupp. There is a lot going on, as I will be on with Rob Bromley on WKYT at 5:30, KSTV airs at 6:30 pm and then we will LIVE BLOG beginning at 6:45. Make sure and check it out and get ready. Cats vs Pioneers once again…a rivalry for the ages.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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