Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.





Going Hunting

Life experiences that are innocuous to most, just as that word is; but entertaining to the masses.

Aaron’s UK Basketball Blog’s Article Links

Aaron’s UK Basketball Blog’s Article Links

If you enjoy reading articles about the UK men’s basketball team, please visit my webpage at http://kybasketball.blogspot.com.  You can also now follow my webpage on Twitter- I need less than 150 followers to reach 3,000. My webpage has been around for several years and I update it several times per day so UK basketball fans have access to the best and most recent articles about the team.

Now, The Article Links-

calipari7

Calipari says DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe need to pick it up conditioning wise, Darnell Dodson needs to get stronger, and Daniel Orton still isn’t 100 percent Healthy

West Virginia’s coaches are now after 2011 UK recruit Chane Behanan

Brandon Knight has whittled what was a wide open race down somewhat with Kansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Duke, Florida and Miami at the Top

Calipari will stay involved and be accessible with regards to community appearances and charitable functions as long as he’s coaching UK

Gillispie’s lawyers notified Lee Todd and Mitch Barnhart that they will take their depositions on September 21 in Lexington as part of the coach’s breach of contract Lawsuit

Gillispie’s DUI charge is yet another black eye on a UK basketball divorce that has been anything but Pretty

FoxSports.com’s Jason Whitlock debuts the nickname Rick Pimpino


Aaron’s UK Basketball Blog’s Article Links

Aaron’s UK Basketball Blog’s Article Links

If you enjoy reading articles about the UK men’s basketball team, please visit my webpage at http://kybasketball.blogspot.com.  You can also now follow my webpage on Twitter- the race to 3,000 followers continues. My webpage has been around for several years and I update it several times per day so UK basketball fans have access to the best and most recent articles about the team.

Now, The Article Links-

leslie-cj

UK and North Carolina are the two schools standing out the most to CJ Leslie

Kyrie Irving will take at least two official visits during the coming months, to Indiana and Duke

UK has shown interest in 6’4 freshman Darryl Hicks

UK reportedly did not offer Joe Jackson a Scholarship

Rakeem Christmas eliminated UK from consideration because of their style of Play

Calipari will be the keynote speaker for the Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Indiana’s annual dinner on Thursday, September 24 at the Centre in downtown Evansville


Summer Reruns

Its raining, I’m bored, and I recently learned that I missed my hometown demolition derby. Since Matt is gone and no one is watching what I’m doing, I thought I would recylce an old account of my favorite sporting event ever. If you weren’t a reader in 2006 and don’t need pictures with your blogposts, then enjoy.
P.S. It’s long by the way
P.P.S That’s what she said

Super Bowl, World Cup, West Minster Dog Show. They are all tremendous spectacles of sport, each deserving of the attention they garner from around the globe. But, as I have stated here previously, I do not vest my happiness in the outcomes of games or seasons- it is simply not in my nature. The rest of my life parallels this sentiment in that there are very few occasions in which my enthusiasm for an event causes me to quiver in anticipation. Last night, however, was just such an event.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the pinnacle of modern sports was once again on display as the Demolition Derby returned to the Western Kentucky State Fair Grounds for yet another heaven-sent night of smashing cars and funnel cakes. When you walk through the gates, you feel something different. At first you may think it is the mud hole you were forced to step in upon arrival, as it sits DIRECTLY in the path of the ticket takers. No, that can’t be it. There is something in the air. Its certainly not shampoo or even filtered cigarettes. It is excitement. It is the promise of the fact that on this night, a new champion will be crowned king of all that is wrecking cars. That, and the outside shot someone may get “blowed up”.

I will set the stage for those of you who have not had the pleasure of attending this hallowed affair. There is a track about as wide as a football field and just a bit longer that is framed off by telephone poles laid long ways, nailed down with railroad spikes. It is moist with water to keep the speed of the cars under 70. It is surrounded on two sides by fans in bleachers and a grandstand that have come to see blood. It is NASCAR without the money or pretty-boys. There are two ways in which you can be eliminated in this gladiator arena. One, you can be knocked over a telephone pole and hung out to dry. Two, your car can cease to run and be given the proverbial 10 count after failing to crash into any of the competition. In the words of Tony K., “that’s it; that’s the list.”

The night begins with a “Best in Show” competition; a beauty pageant of sorts for the competitors who have spent the time, effort, and possibly $20 dollars in making their beasts as aesthetically pleasant as spray painting their girlfriends’ name can do (I personally liked ‘Cristy’ without the ‘h’). There were only three cars in this particular contest. The winner came in the form of a pink number with flames going down the length of each side. The driver just happened to be a female and I will venture to say this was the first competition based on traditional standards of beauty that she had ever won. She was a crowd favorite immediately.

Enough with the pageantry, it was now time to smash em’ up. In the first of the night’s two heats for the big boy cars, our female driver in her oh-so-pink sedan was matched up with a variety of late model cars and station-wagons (incidentally, I am concerned about the future of the sport when eventually Accords and Camrys are forced to suit up on the field of demolition- it will be like recasting 8 mile with Clay Aiken [the pop version of this message boards ‘maconvolfan’]). Our lady was the crowd favorite with the top 3 in this heat as well as the next advancing to the finals for the big money. However, a wrinkle was added this year in that there would be a bonus $50 awarded to the “most aggressive driver” in each heat. This ensured that the normal rule against driving motor first into the driver’s side door of the competition would be totally ignored. It was. They lined up the cars across from each other on the short side, then turned them loose with the waving of the green flag.

Our pageant winner was the first eliminated. Her car failed to turn over and she was immediately knocked out of the ring within seconds of the start. So much for the fan favorite. Later, when she exited her car, again it became painfully obvious the sport is still waiting for its Danica Patrick. Given her generous proportions, I feel she would have been more competitive sans car. The rest of the first heat was fairly uneventful in that three cars got stuck together which allowed the top 3 to leave the round relatively unscathed.

The second round featured a bit more excitement. The fan favorite in this heat was a brave, young gentleman who will be returning to Iraq for his third tour of duty in less than a week. He received an ovation very deserving of all that serve our country so bravely. This heat featured more car bashing and less knocking over the rails. You know its good when the cars’ trunks block the view from the back window. The crowd was fever pitch. Had they been selling alcohol, I am fairly sure the right side of the grandstand would have seceded from the Union. The highlight of this heat came when our soldier, driving his lime green station wagon with the words “Kiss my Ass” painted on the back, suddenly, but not unexpectedly, became engulfed in a reasonable sized fire. At this point, he had a decision to make: Wait for the volunteer fireman or take his chances playing chicken on foot in the Derby. He chose the latter. Now that my friends is adrenaline. He survived and was once again honored by the announcer to which he received huge applause. I, along with everyone else, was a little saddened, as we all wanted him to have that trophy. The top 3 finished, the finals were set, and it was time for the compact car division.

The compact car division is what it is-small cars doing very little damage to each other in a match that seemingly never ends. It is sort of like watching two drunks fight: they can’t really hurt each other and by the end they sort of just wear out on their own. This event only had 3 competitors so no one went home without a trophy. Kind of like Matt’s ribbons from field day, they really just said thanks for competing.

The next heat was the consolation round. If you could get your car to the track, you could vie for the chance of coming out of the loser’s bracket into the main event. The pink lady rumbled back out with her virtually dent-less car (save where a front loader had ripped off her bumper unhinging her from the telephone poles in heat one). This round featured cars on their last leg but did provide some good hits. The pink lady was once again beaten fairly early and showed that like Michelle Wie, the fairer sex still must prove itself amongst the men folk. A winner was claimed and the field for the finals was set.

SCANDAL!! It was announced just prior to the final bout that any car would be allowed to compete in the main event if it could get started and make it to the track on its own power. What!?! You can’t just invite Hofstra to the Final Four! Shenanigans I say! But, the governing body was not without questions to begin with. The powers that be also suspiciously declined to drug test its athletes for this event. Is meth ‘performance enhancing’? We’ll save that debate for another day. The finals were spectacular. The drivers bashed em’ up nice. Real nice. The last four cars hit so hard they virtually welded their bumpers together forcing a pause in the action and prompting many in attendance to yell “throw some water on em’”(if you are from the city, spend some time at your local dog park to understand the phrase). The cars were separated via forklifts and a winner was ultimately named following a series of vicious hits. The next to last car was left dead in the water. While the driver worked feverishly to get it started, the eventual winner took his time in lining up the last three hits from the length of the track. Remember in Blood Sport when Jean Claude Van Dam was about to crush Chung Li’s head in the final bout only to stop short and show some mercy? Obviously, Blood Sport didn’t offer $50 for the most aggressive fighter. A track official eventually put an end to the awesomeness by waiving the checkered flag and anointing the victor. I really made an effort to remember the winner’s name to give him his due but alas it has escaped me. No matter, I am sure he wasn’t in it for the glory. It’s all about the groupies


Few Personal Thoughts, Followed by Adidas It Takes 5ive Tidbits

Today, once I returned home from the University of Cincinnati campus, I read an article by Gary Parrish in which he talked about Michael Gilchrist’s feelings about his recruitment. It kinda got me thinking about some of the interesting kids that I’ve met and come to know a little better on the recruiting trail. There are all kinds of unique individuals that find themselves in high school’s elite class of basketball players and they all have different ways of relating to the media.

In one group, you have the kids that love the attention. They are quick to talk about their recruitment and really seem to fit what you see on the court, acting much like adults with the media. They are usually extremely articulate and what you might call “media savvy.” There are also kids who would just as soon chat with you about the weather or what YOU have been up to lately. Jelan Kendrick, Kyrie Irving, and Ray McCallum Jr. are a few names that come to mind. These kids are extremely polite, genuine, and generally seem friendly and down to earth.  They’re also very good with the media but in a different way than the first group because they remember faces and names well. They’d all probably have pretty good futures as top coaches or recruiters.

Then, in the group that became the topic of Parrish’s article, you have the kids that don’t really seem that comfortable when talking to the media. At first, you might think these are the kids that don’t have the high rankings or aren’t quite as talented as others in their class but Michael Gilchrist proves that this is not always the case. There are kids from all over the talent spectrum that just generally aren’t comfortable with the media and seem to still be quite shy despite dealing with questions about their personal decisions on a near daily basis. As a 20-something year old, these kids seem like your long lost little brother and interviewing them just makes you want to turn off the recorder and give them a hug and tell them to forget about it and get back out on the court.These are the kids that were blessed with undeniable talent on the court, a gift that also comes with obligations on their part, but if they could find a way to keep their youth and get an adult job after they finish high school and college, they’d do it. These kids would just as soon play backyard ball and work at a grocery store all summer.

Sadly, that’s not possible because they have to be out on the circuit and they have to get their name out to scouts in order to get scholarships or make it to their dream school. Its a lot more like work than many believe it to be, with constant traveling, different hotel rooms and days filled with basketball games where any bad performance could cause them to lose a chance at getting into their dream school or making it to the NBA. A child gifted with a scholarly mind has to work hard to get into a good college, such as studying for ACT’s or finding money to pay for their continued education, but they get to do so without all the pressures of the media on top of the other normal pressures of adolescence. I’m not saying one is better than the other, I’m just saying that both versions of raw talent require hard work to see them into infruition, which is an often overlooked aspect with gifted athletes.

I guess my main point here is that looking at these kids on the court and seeing guys who outsize the normal individual with close to a foot worth of height and many more pounds worth of muscle would make you think they are full grown adults but they’re not. You have to remember, both when interviewing them personally and writing about them later, you are dealing with a fragile teenager. That desire to not trample on a kids self-esteem must still be balanced with the public desire for accurate information on college-bound athletes. The result is a fine line that must be walked and one that many, myself included, need to keep in mind when making comments about a kid who is still affected just like any other normal teenager and, whether or not you believe it, a kid that works hard and is constantly striving to maximize their god-given abilities.  Just because that given talent is abnormal for most, doesn’t make them abnormal in their own young minds and doesn’t make them any more well-suited to take harsh comments or large amounts of pressure. Put simply, they’re still just kids.

Now, with that out of the way, we can move on to the normal recruiting stuff. As I said before, I arrived at the Adidas It Takes 5ive tournament later than most because of my trip to Akron. By the time I got there, many of teams had already been eliminated from the tournament. Mychal Parker, Fab Melo, Damien Leonard, Casey Prather, and Rodney Purvis were a few of the kids that I was disappointed in not being able to see. I was still able to see a lot of action and a few kids on UK’s radar. Here’s little bit about each:

– Spoke with Jeremiah Davis for a little bit. He’s a bit of a combo guard at this stage. Jeremiah’s game remains extremely aggressive and his handle is still as tight as ever. He has his moments shooting the rock too and is never afraid to take the big shot. He’s a real competitor and loves the ball in his hands during clutch moments. Roy Williams and Coach Cal were some of the big faces that he noticed watching him play. Coach Calipari’s staff are still evaluating Jeremiah and are being completely up front with him about that fact. He did admit that he loves the system and the coaches and that if the offer was eventually given, UK would immediately be among his favorites.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera is a top talent out of the state of Indiana in 2012. Hoop Scoop has him ranked as the #20 prospect in his class nationally. He is extremely strong and stocky and has a great midrange game. He also knocked down more than a couple threes and got to the rim easily against undersized guards. D’Vauntes told me that he’d like to get his college decision out of the way as soon as possible, even saying that he might get it done at the end of the summer. “Its just a lot of pressure right now,” he said. North Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia and Virginia Tech were some of the schools that he noticed watching his games. Indiana, UNC, Tennessee, Wake Forest and Pitt are the five that he is seriously considering at this point but he did note that he was still open to the possibility of others getting involved. UK has been in contact with his parents but they are still in the early stages of developing their relationship with D’Vauntes.

– Ricardo and Jeremiah Johnson, along with Elijah Pittman, make up the core returning players for Kentucky State Champion Holmes. They received another, albeit less prolific, championship by winning the Silver bracket for their division. The Indiana Elite squad with Spencer Turner, Matt Carlino, Marshall Plumlee and Cody Zeller lost in their championship game against a hot shooting 43Hoops team. The CP3 Allstars won their 15 and under bracket. I’ll have a story in the future on some of the major young talent that is involved with the CP3 organization.

Other Notes:

– Cleaning out the recorder I found a couple of interesting things that I forgot to mention. Marquis Teague told me that he still has the same list as before. He didn’t include UK in that list and noted that they hadn’t offered him a scholarship yet. He did say that if UK were to offer him during the summer, they would immediately jump into the mix with the rest of his favorites. Jelan Kendrick feels extremely blessed to have been given top rankings, like the #4 spot he received from Rivals.com, but he still feels like he has work to do. He said that the added pressure really puts a target on his back and he knows there is always someone waiting to take his spot. Like I said before, the UK coaching staff was on him hard at Memphis and had offered a scholarship but they haven’t shown the same interest since the move to Lexington. He also spoke to me at the NBA camp about how well Calipari has developed point guards, including tall ones like himself, in the past. Kendrick isn’t completely set on playing point at the next level and said he just wants to do what’s best for the team. I know the coaches were able to see him in Cleveland this week so we’ll see how impressed they were. Kendrick is so smooth in transition and is having such a great summer that he’d be hard for any coach to pass on.

– Scout.com’s Evan Daniels heard from Kevin Wear that UK was very involved in his recruitment but that an offer hasn’t yet been extended. The highly ranked 2011 point guard is also getting strong interest, as well as offers, from Miami, Memphis, Florida, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.

Next up is Eddie Ford’s Kentucky Hoopfest. It is held at various locations including the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center. I’ll be out there a few days this weekend and will report on the action. As Matt said in the News and Views, there won’t be many kids on Kentucky’s radar attending, at least not the older ones. You never know what the younger guys are going to show though, and that’s what makes these events fun to watch. One kid may just pop out and start getting UK’s attention and you could be there to see the game that made it happen. So, if I was you, I’d come out and see some of the young talent show their stuff.


Fake Calipari Not Nearly as Folksy as Fake Gimel

Those Jayhawks: they’re a wacky lot.

Some dude, known to the message board world as EvolveHawk, has taken to creating a faux-John Calipari Facebook page and ruining the lives of young Kentuckians. I must admit, some of the conversation, while wholly embarrassing to our fair commonwealth, is pretty funny.

The page now features a disclaimer admitting the forgery, as well as listing Cal’s only child as Marcus Camby. And some of his conversations, which were fake to him but real to the other people, devolve into racist denigrations. It’s just good, clean fun! Take a joke, people! Racism is hilarious!

I don’t know, like, laws or whatever, but can Calipari maybe do something here? Defamation, perchance? But he’s a public figure, so satire’s cool, right? Or something? Didn’t this happen with LaRussa? Maybe? Can he sue Facebook, at least, if not the douche who set it up? Anyone? Jones? Guy in the BAR class in front of my wife that constantly checks KSR? Law students? Question mark?

Fake John Calipari is Terrorizing Facebook (Deadspin)

Link to Original Post at KU Message Board—with tons of screen grabs of messages sent (Phog.net)

Facebook Page


My Name is John Calipari. My Heart’s Been Broken. But I Will Love Again.

When Will Barton made his decision to cozy up with Josh Pastner, I felt it…you probably felt it…Calipari probably washed it down with some Saki, but even he felt it. Its called heartbreak and we all go through it. Luckily, we have the Internet and sites like Pharrah13 to help us cope. I’d like to pass along their priceless “Stages of a Break Up” to help my fellow UK fans and maybe even Calipari and the rest of his coaching staff during this time of need. Feel free to revisit this post through the years because I promise you the Bartons won’t be the last to break our hearts. So here’s your Stages of a Break Up: Calipari Edition, which we will title “My name is John Calipari. My heart’s been broken. But I will love again.”

Stage 1: Time Heals Everything

“Its normal to have low self esteem when someone you (recruit) leaves you. But remember, you’re still the same person that (Will Barton) fell in love with.” We need to remember that we had the nation’s #1 shooting guard on the verge of a commitment (twice) and without that pesky brother of his (just kidding Antonio) he would be ours. “There are many fish in the sea” fits perfect here, especially when you realize that a “shooting guard” doesn’t necessarily exist in Calipari’s system. A point guard could fill that position, as well as the traditional small forward. Too many believe that just because Barton was listed as a shooting guard, Cal must now move on down the list to a Doron Lamb, for example, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Stage 2: You Are Vulnerable

“You must be extra careful not to look for quick fixes, such as dating old flings.”  I am not too worried about this one with Calipari. I should have forwarded this list to Barnhart after Donovan broke his heart last time, just before he installed a quick fix on the UK throne.

Stage 3: Feelings of Denial

“At this stage, you will probably call your ex many times to question whether the (recruitment) is truly over….” Cal is probably hitting refresh on Scout.com as you’re reading this, as have most of you…just stop…its over.

Stage 4: Feelings of Bitterness

Don’t let the heartbreaker know about your bitter feelings or “you’ll be letting the (recruit) know that you are unable to handle their decision, which makes you look immature.” “Channel those feelings into positive energy by improving the skills at the activities you love…”  Cal went to deSha’s.  What will you do?  I suggest this.

Stage 5: Take Time Off

“A lot of people try to rebuild their broken and fragile ego by (recruiting) again too soon after a (commitment elsewhere).” “If you (recruit) someone just to fill the gap, that’s the way you’ll end up treating that person.”  Not too much of a worry here with Cal. He’s not a non-stop worker, like some other coach we know, but he is an ultra-efficient worker.  There’s so many recruits on his board, just as good as Will, that he won’t be taking any quick commitments that lack talent. Fans can take comfort in knowing that the 2010 class will loaded with talent and Barton was NOT the only 5 star wing Cal was focused on.  Believe me, if he was, he would have offered Antonio and gotten the commitment.

This commitment means three things to me: (1) Calipari thinks he can get a better point guard than Antonio (who is no slouch himself) and doesn’t want any of them thrown off by extra competition at the point guard spot (on top of Bledsoe, who will probably still be here), (2) Calipari thinks he can deal with not taking Barton’s commitment because he will get another talented wing to fill that spot and, most importantly, (3) Calipari felt like there are bigger needs for this team than just getting Will Barton, and a lot of talent in the 2010 class, so holding the scholarship that would have been for Antonio was the smartest thing to do, in his mind.

Stage 6: Socialize

“Meet a lot of new people.” This is the good part. Anyone who has witnessed “the girl who just broke up with her boyfriend,” will know that they try out a lot of new potential suitors. Some are bad boys who date all the girls, some are the “Eat That” boy or the boy the ex always suspected the girl had a crush on, some are the new boy in school, while others are “flings.”  Let’s look at who Cal might court now:

The Bad Boy Dating All The Girls: Harrison Barnes

He’s got the fast car and the fat wallet, but he’s dangerous.  Harrison is a sure thing. No doubt about it. He’s got range, athleticism, basketball IQ, and he’s a good kid. He is sure to be a top candidate for freshman of the year no matter where he goes.

Cal got in on this one late. He recruited Barnes lightly at Memphis but quickly jumped on him hard once he arrived in Lexington. Barnes is very good academically and on the court. My guess is that Cal figured Memphis wasn’t basketball rich or academically rich enough for Barnes. Kentucky, while not academically rich like a Duke or Stanford, is possibly rich enough in basketball to lure Barnes. Kansas and Duke both have a leg up on the competition and Harrison doesn’t seem incredibly interested at this point.  He’s said that he likes Cal’s system and also said that his interest in Kentucky only grew by Calipari taking over the reigns. You should be warned that with all the schools recruiting him, and recruiting him HARD, it’ll be a tough job to get him in Lexington. Kudos to Cal for showing Barnes that he was a priority right away by making him one of his first visits as UK coach (I know…he did that for Will too).

The “Eat That Boy” or “I Always Had A Crush On Him Anyways” Guy: Doron Lamb

He has most everything the ex had PLUS you get the pleasure of the ex hating him. Now I’m not saying Will hates Doron, they are probably friends.  This is more along the lines of Cal also recruiting Doron along with Will at Memphis and again at UK. He’s been a longtime fave of Cal and continues to be. He’d give UK fans the ability to say “Cal always wanted him more anyway,” whether it is true or not. He is a great shooter and a pure scorer. He’s the blue collar worker to Barton’s white collar flash.

He may not be quite as much of the athlete and slasher that Will is. He’ll get his points in more of a Jodie Meeks fashion than a Kobe Bryant fashion. For some reason, he doesn’t quite carry the “wow” factor that Barton did with UK fans. I’m not sure why, maybe because he isn’t the #1 shooting guard? He’s extremely talented and, as I’ve said before, much better than just a backup plan. He’s said in the past how he enjoys Calipari’s style of play and is also a friend of Rod Strickland (who is an Oak Hill boy, like Lamb, and has stopped by from time to time).

The New Boy in School: Cameron Clark

Cameron has shot up the rankings each year. He is a very hot commodity at this point, but that wasn’t always the case. He’s been a top recruit, but not to the point that he has recently reached. He’s a great scorer and has a deadly mid-range jumper to go with his good deep shot. He is working on consistency and, from his summer performances, he’s getting that down. Cam has the athleticism and the winner’s mentality that make a player go from good to great. With his speed and length, he is a prototypical Calipari slasher type of player and, with the commitment of Barnes, moves up the list to one of Calipari’s top wing targets. If Cal can lure him from the grasps of the Big 12 schools, UK fans should be very pleased.

Flings: Others that Cal is looking at

I’ll give you some names that Calipari is also looking at for the wing position: Keala King, Roscoe Smith, Jesse Berry (combo-guardish), Mychal Parker, Jelan Kendrick (may be more of a PG), CJ Leslie (may be more of PF just based on height). If I left a name off the list that completely infuriates you, please send all emails to Thomas Beisner.

Stage 7: Fall in Love

Now that you’ve found your new man, feel free to fall in love all over again. Favorite them on Rivals, get their RSS feeds or just Google them every morning when you wake up. Make their picture your new wallpaper and search You-Tube for videos. Whatever you gotta do. Just don’t make a facebook group asking them to come to UK, please. Cal loves all his guys so no need to tutor him here.

Stage 8: Don’t Set Yourself Up

“Don’t get carried away with this new found flame, remember nothing lasts forever and even this new relationship may not weather the test of time.” This is the most important part for UK fans to remember. This will happen again, I’ll guarantee it.  Just remember this feeling and remember that life goes on and you will find yourself better equipped for the next time a Will Barton makes his home somewhere other than Lexington.

Other recruiting notes:

– Former NC State commit, John Wall’s teammate, and UK recruit C.J. Leslie will visit North Carolina next week according to Scout.com.  If anything happens…read this post again (just to make sure this doesn’t start an Internet fire, I’ll say that I have no information that makes me think anything will happen, but anything could happen).

– In the wake of Tim Floyd resigning, here’s a look at the notable USC recruits that will probably be available.  Lamont “Momo” Jones is on the board again, according to Zag’s Blog. The smart money is on Arizona getting him. He committed to UL before so that, coupled with Florida needing a point guard, makes me take a wild guess that Pitino protege Billy D goes all out for him. Just a very bold prediction with no backing info. In 2011, USC’s top commit is Gary Franklin, a 4-star pg according to rivals. I’m 99% sure he’ll decommit based on his past comments and the recruiting sharks will be circling. Zona will make a tough run here as well, which leads me to this question: How lucky is Sean Miller to be at UA right now? He can earn his keep strictly recruiting USC fallouts.


My Inner Marty Blake’s Friday Q&A

My Inner Marty Blake’s Friday Q&A

dustin-marty-blake

Marty Blake is a legendary NBA scout and a long time director of NBA scouting. As you can see from the picture above, which I swear was not Photoshopped at all with the help of Beisner, Marty is a longtime pal. I’ll be channeling my inner Marty Blake when I was write these Q&A’s from week to week.

As always, continue to send your UK recruiting related questions to [email protected] and I’ll answer the best ones on here every Friday (give me your name and I’ll post it with the question as well). I’ll tweet some of the recruiting news of the week as well as answer some of the questions that don’t make the Friday post through my Twitter account.  Now to the questions of the week:

(1)  How did Billy Gillispie get such good recruits, like Orton, to commit to UK?  Was it simply that they committed or showed interest prior to knowing how bad a fit he was at UK?

The fact that Gillispie got most of his high profile commitments prior to his hot seat starting to warm his Billybuns has something to do with it. They most likely would not have committed to a coach who was on shaky ground, although Konner Tucker may have something to say about that. On the question of how Billy got a few top notch recruits, I must talk about one of the biggest and least publicly recognized aspects of recruiting, which is the work put in by the assistant coaches. Tubby Smith’s tenure at UK should be a prime example of how bad assistants can bring down recruiting, even under a great coach. Most of the time it is the assistants who make the early and most frequent contacts with these recruits.

Gillispie hired great assistants who knew how to recruit, especially Coach Cyprien. When players that were getting recruited by Gillispie’s staff talk about UK, either now or when he was head coach at UK, they usually always have good things to say about “Cyp” and Tracy Webster as well. If you look at Coach Cyprien’s history as an assistant coach, you’ll see a very good pedigree. He was at Oklahoma State when they got players like John Lucas III, Jameson Curry and he was also a part of the foundation laying for their superb 2005 class before he left.

Gillispie is no recruiting slouch himself. He helped bring in Illinois’ 2002 class that consisted of James Augustine, Dee Brown, and Deron Williams which later played a big part in Illinois’ trip to the final four. So when you are talking about Gillispie’s run at UK, you have to separate three distinct topics: recruiting, coaching and public relations. Gillispie is a known recruiter, he hired known recruiters and his recruiting style seemed to fit UK’s expectations in most instances (albeit not as well as Calipari’s style has).  There is some disagreement about his early offers to players but Gillispie seemed to believe he was getting in early on some players that had not blown up nationally yet.  That aspect of his recruiting style can, and has been, debated ad nauseum so I’ll leave that for another time.

It was Gillispie’s coaching style and public relations that led to his end. The way he treated his players after they arrived and his stubborn attitude toward the boosters and the media is what ultimately got him canned.  His recruiting was excellent in some aspects and satisfactory in others but overall he is and, assuming he gets another college coaching position, will continue to be a good recruiter.

(2)  Can you share with us where you are going to be each weekend and who are some of the top kids we have heard with UK?

I have to give a somewhat elusive answer to the second part of that question. There are the top recruits that we know of (Will Barton, CJ Leslie, Mike Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes, Doron Lamb, Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight, Joe Jackson, Roscoe Smith, Marquis Teague, Adreian Payne, Dominique Ferguson, etc.) but, as the coaching contact period opens back up, we’ll know more about some of the less well known recruits most coveted by Calipari and, of those,  which recruits that are expressing the most mutual interest. We’ll also be able to tell where the big names are leaning and give you guys the names of those that are most likely to be wearing blue and white. I’ll continue to give you profiles of some of the top guys as the summer progresses.

The first part of the question is very fluid because of money and schedule issues. I will cover every event that occurs close to Kentucky but I’m not sure which of the events that occur further from the state that I’ll be able to attend.  I’ll definitely be attending the big regional events: Lebron James Skills Academy in Akron and the Adidas It Takes 5 in Cincinnati, both occurring in July.  I’d love to attend the late summer events in Las Vegas but that’s not set yet. I’ll also be attending all of the relevant tournaments and camps that occur in the state of Kentucky (Louisville Hoops Classics, Eddie Ford’s, Tayshaun’s camp, and various other camps and tournaments).  Its hard to tell you exactly which of the smaller tournaments I’ll attend because it depends on which players will be there and that is usually decided pretty close to the the actual occurrence of the tournament.

I will always keep you guys updated on tournaments that I’ll be attending usually by posting it the week before the event.  Feel free to come out and say hey at any of these events and also get a chance to see some of the possible future UK ballers.

(3)  Where do you think Dominique Ferguson stands right now?  Is there a good-great chance he could recommit?

The best way to view Dominique Ferguson’s recruitment is to forget, almost altogether, that he previously committed. The only thing that you should take from his prior commitment is that somewhere along the line he felt that UK’s campus, fans and facilities were good enough for him to commit to a coaching staff that he felt comfortable with. So that leaves us at this point: If Dominique Ferguson can find the same comfort level and be as comfortable with Calipari’s coaching staff and the new look of the UK roster, then he would presumably recommit to UK.

At this point, Dominique is absolutely wide open to all takers and he is listening to all schools. At the AMC, he gave a list of Wake Forest, Indiana, Louisville, Florida, Texas, UCLA, Arizona, Duke, DePaul, Kentucky and Tennessee. I’m sure that his list will expand and contract as the summer progresses.  He recently added both Ohio State and Providence to his list. Duke has also began to make a hard push recently and Ferguson seems to like hearing from them.  IU has been after him hard as well, as Coach Crean tries to keep the Indiana talent home.

Ferguson said at the AMC that he planned on visiting three of the following four schools in the near future: Arizona, Texas, UCLA and Florida. This past weekend, at the Bob Gibbons Tournament, he said that he would visit Arizona, Texas, UCLA and Ohio State soon. Read into that what you will but do take note that Florida is the odd school out of the four he mentioned before. I’m not sure I’d go as far as saying that Florida is completely out of the running but they are not currently in his plans for a future visit.

So right now I would say that we are left knowing that the University is enough to get him to commit, so long as the coaching staff is a group he could see himself playing for.  At the AMC, he expressed interest in learning how the DDM offense works and how he would fit into it, admitting that he wasn’t very familiar with that style of play. If you ask me, I believe that he is a player built for the DDM as he is long, athletic, has the ability to take his man off the dribble and can run in transition well. One of his main concerns has been finding a coach that will get him ready for the NBA and Cal is renowned for his skills in that area. . Cal has told him he is his #1 target for 2010.  So if you add all that up then you are left relying on Cal’s ability to sell Ferguson on his skills to prepare him for the next level, Ferguson’s comfort level with the new staff and his feelings on where he’ll fit in with the new version of UK’s roster. In my opinion, we have as good a chance as anyone else but there is a lot of competition for this highly skilled player.  Don’t expect a final decision to come anytime soon because of the situation he was left in when Billy was fired and Ferguson’s recent comments about wanting to survey the field and see what’s out there.

Other recruiting notes:

–  Scout.com with a report today that Doron Lamb may take a visit to UK at some point during the summer.  He also likes hearing from new Kentucky assistant Rod Strickland, who is also an Oak Hill man.  Lamb will wait until the end of the summer to narrow his list down.


Brandon Webb’s Saturday Morning Hot Links

Good morning, folks, and welcome to a beautiful Saturday morning.  I’m sure you’re all just as happy as I am that my internet is back and kicking so we can spend a wonderful weekend together.  But, before we get going with your links, let’s give a Happy 30th Birthday shoutout to former Wildcat Brandon Webb.  The Ashland native is off to a bit of a rough start this year, giving up 6 runs in 4 innings in his only start, but he’s won 70 games over the past four seasons and locked down the Cy Young in 2006 and was robbed of it last year.  In addition to the Cy Young Award, Webb has won the Baseball America Rookie of the Year Award, put together a 42-inning scoreless streak (5th best in baseball since 1940) and has started the season 8-0 twice (including 9-0 last year).  Basically, the dude is nasty and, as a baseball fan and a Wildcat, he’s one of my favorite players in the league.

Now on to some links…

– Patrick Patterson is back!  Patrick Patterson is back! Patrick Patterson is back!

– Remember when Will Barton did/did not commit a week or so ago?  Well, I’m assuming he’s not committed at the moment because he gave Demling a huge list of schools still, but Barton did say that UK is “very high” and that then rattled off all kinds of love for the program.

– This is a couple of days old but I’m not sure if it’s been linked (my internet has been down, remember?)…but KSR buddy Gregg Doyel gets John Wall’s back and takes the Raleigh Police Department to task for their breaking and entering charge against him.

– Chip Cosby writes that former UK quarterback Curtis Pulley was back in Kentucky last month….for an indictment for failing to pay child support, But, Pulley’s father takes up for his son and says he is doing very well in school and this situation has been blown up a bit by some people.

– The Bo comes out of the gate strong this morning with an excellent story on the Pitino-Kings saga and what might be running through his head.

– On the Pitino note, Stephan Van Treese said Pitino called him to say he was staying at Louisville and the ESPN report is “total B.S.”….however, he strangely did not make a public statement saying they were false.  That seems to be his M.O. when things are false, right?  Going on the news, releasing statements, etc.  No?

– Joe Biddle at the Nashville Tennessean writes that the Vols are trusting the now infamous Daniel Hood to take advantage of his second chance. Hood was the guy that…um….well….nevermind.  This is a family blog.

That’s pretty much it.  It’s a slow day.  The offseason is catching up to us.


Gone, Daddy, Gone; Coach Has Gone Away

ESPN is reporting.

Official press conference is at 4:30 PM.


Rob Radio’s Roundball Roundup – Week XVI

It’s finally March. The best time of year for a college basketball fan and something that rivals anything else in sports. As we saw with Georgia last year, even a team that is considered absolutely, 100% out of the tourney can make a Cinderella-type run and get an automatic bid with a conference championship. Teams like that also play spoiler to potential bubble teams. A title from a team that wasn’t supposed to get in will subtract an at-large berth spot from someone that was . That is the scenario teams like Maryland, Boston College, Oklahoma St, Notre Dame and Florida would dread to see.

– There is also the possibility of a team like Davidson with a 25-6 record and one of the most exciting players in hoops getting upset in the their conference ‘ships and taking an at large from a power conference team. This year Davidson has been competitive against teams from power conferences, but their only significant win is against West Virginia. Stephen Curry and his boys deserve a bid, but say we’re talking about Siena – a far less popular team. The Saints are 23-7 and have been talked about as one of those potential 5/12 6/11 upset picks. However, if they don’t win the MAAC conference crown they will be hosting an NIT game. Western Kentucky and Utah St. are in the same boat. Both have big non-conference wins and sit in the top 50 of the RPI. You would think they’d be in if they lost this week but stranger things have happened on Selection Sunday. Utah St. is sporting a robust 26-4 record so it would be extremely hard for the committee to leave them out. Utah St., Western, and Siena probably have more pressure on them then any other teams in America. All have had exceptional seasons that would have been rewarded in a tougher conference. Yet if they slip up the least bit it will be nothing more than a NIT bid.

– The Mountain West Conference might get more bids than the SEC and Pac-10. Both Utah (10th in the RPI) and BYU (21) are lead-pipe locks to get in. UNLV, San Diego St. and New Mexico all have 20 wins and all have RPI’s in the top 64. I think it would be a farce to see a team like San Diego St. over a team like Michigan or Minnesota, but it looks like it might happen. I just have a feeling if any of the MWC teams played the same schedule as a SEC or Pac-10 team they wouldn’t be as successful. Just as a team from the SEC or Pac-10 would have trouble in the BIG EAST or ACC. I think 3 at the most should be sufficient enough to represent the MWC this year. Any more would be at the expense of a team punished for playing in a more competitive conference.

– The Dayton Flyers are another team that is going to get a strong look in the war room next weekend. They could have solidified a bid with a win over Xavier last night, but a 17-point loss placed them back firmly on the bubble. This is all despite a 24-6 record and being 27th in the RPI. What hurts the Flyers is their 109th ranked schedule and losing 4 of their last 7 games. As a basketball fan, you should want Dayton’s Chris Wright in the dance as he is one of the most exciting dunkers you’ve ever seen. I say wins over Marquette and Xavier coupled with a single win in the A-10 gets the Flyers in. I just don’t see how those guys focus on basketball with all the kegs of Old Mill-funky rolling around town. Coach Brian Gregory keep his squad as far away from the infamous “Ghetto” as possible. The team must stay in Cincy during the season or something.

– It is unfortunate that Saint Mary’s guard Patty Mills broke his hand and missed most of the second half of the season because the Gaels had an 18-1 record and were finally giving Gonzaga some competition in the WCC. They struggled in his absence, losing 4 of 5. However, they have won 5 in a row and Mills returns this week. The Australian point guard’s speed is rivaled by only Ty Lawson and he reminds me a lot of a young Tony Parker in the way he plays. He was averaging 18 a game before the setback. The bad news is Mills’ squad more than likely needs to win this week’s tourney just to get a bid even with a 24-5 record. There’s a possibility the committee will take in to account the injury even if the Gaels fail to win. But will it be at the expense of a power conference team?

Here’s what to watch for during Championship Week…

Friday – A slightly better Friday than we are used to seeing, but still nothing to write home about. the only thing good that is even watchable (literally) is St. John’s at Notre Dame on ESPN360. Aside: ESPN360 is a must have for a true college hoops fan. Your team is playing someone you haven’t gotten to watch all year in the tournament – all you have to do is hop on 360 and there are probably at least 1 if not 5 games on that team. Plus if you’re stuck in Lexington – where I guess they refuse to show an in-state possible #1 seed against Cincinnati – it is a life saver. This is the last week of the no-talent Fridays. The next three are some of the biggest hoops days of the year.

Saturday –
NOON – CBS-HD – UCONN at PITT – It’s the creme de la creme, the top shelf liquor, the Perfect 10 model. This is about as good as it gets this time of the year. Rarely do you see two teams ranked that high from the same conference battle it out this late. In their last meeting DeJuan Blair ate Hasheem Thabeet’s breakfast and lunch then took his girlfriend to a nice steak dinner and never called her back. We’ll see how “Shagari with talent” reacts. The real match-up is between the two most underrated players in the country – UCONN’s Jeff Adrien and PITT’s Sam Young. What a way to start the day. If UCONN wins, they are the BIG EAST regular season champs.
2PM – CBS-HD – Kentucky at Florida – If it is possible to have an elimination game before the postseason – this is it. I find it hard to believe that the committee will take only 3 teams from the SEC, regardless of how down it is. That means one of these two is getting in and the other is going to be disappointed. Both team’s intensity has been questioned, but I doubt it will be lacking here.
4PM – CBS-HD – Texas at Kansas – Can you remember a season when both Texas and Wisconsin were on the outside looking in? A win here would be enough to propel the horns into the dance, but a loss could bring that very scenario. Sure Texas has some big wins, but their 5-5 record in the last 10 might cancel those out.
9PM – ESPN-HD – Louisville at West Virginia – If PITT somehow pulls the season sweep of UCONN, a cardinal win would mean the #1 seed in the BIG EAST tourney and possible #1 seed in the dance. Morgantown is already a hostile place to play and the crowd is going to be good and liquored-up for this late start.

Sunday –
NOON – CBS-HD – Purdue at Michigan St, – I said it in my Week I roundup and I still mean it – Purdue is a Final 4 sleeper. They are filled with youngsters who hit a wall mid-season and are bouncing back strong. The loss to Northwestern this week doesn’t help my argument at all. The Boilers are the type of inconsistent team that could become consistent and string together 4 wins in a row against high-level competition.
2PM – ESPN360 – Virginia Tech at Florida St. – Seth Greenberg is one of the most underrated coaches in America, but he is going to have to pull off a miracle to get his 17-12 Hokies in. A win at Florida St. would be a start.
4PM – CBS-HD – Duke at North Carolina – Let the Psycho T love fest begin. The Heels’ all-time leading scorer will play his last game in the Dean Dome against a bitter archrival. You thought the referees were on his side before? Who is going to call a cheap foul in him on Senior Day?
6PM – FoxSports – Clemson at Wake – Could be the last home game for Wake soph Jeff Teague and freshman Al-Farouq Aminu. both are projected very high in next year’s NBA draft. A Clemson win would tie them with the Deacs and Seminoles for 3rd place in the ACC behind Carolina and Duke.

Monday (these are all conference title games)
7PM – ESPN – SoCon – Most likely will pit Davidson against either Chattanooga or The Citidel. It would really shake things up if either of those teams could knock off Stephen Curry and co.
9PM – ESPN2 – MAAC – Siena and Niagra would play if the seeds play out right. After those two teams there is a significant drop-off, so it would be a small shock to see an upset.

Tuesday
8PM – ESPN2 – Summit – The battle for a #16 seed and whooping has North Dakota St. as a favorite in their first season in D-I. They have a guy, Ben Woodside, who dropped 60 in a loss.
9PM – ESPN – Horizon – AKA the Butler Invitational. The Bears Bulldogs should roll here. A Bear Bulldog loss would surely burst someone’s bubble.
10PM –  ESPN – Sun Belt –  Western Ky and Ark-Little Rock both have 20+ wins, but only one tournament spot to fill. I could also see Dominic Tilford and So. Alabama attempting in a run at the belt.

Wednesday
8PM – ESPN2 – Northeast – Robert Morris is winning this thing. I can feel it. But really, unless there’s a buzzer-beater or a team with a losing record wins any of these games, they are all just filler for the good stuff to come.
10PM – ESPN2 – Big Sky – Weber St. won the regular season championship which is amazing given they don’t have Harold “the Show” Arceneaux to carry them anymore.

If there’s room for me I’ll be back on Thursday to preview all the bigger conference tournaments with awards, all-american teams, superlatives and all that good stuff. Until then, check out the happenings of a possible #1 seed at THE L YES! REPORT and a possible lunatic on THE FREAK SHOW at LOUISVILLESPORTSBUZZ.com.

Peace


Matt Pilgrim is Never Afraid

Matt Pilgrim is Never Afraid

Aaron’s blog linked up this Larry Vaught piece at the DA-M. Within, Larry speaks to Auburn guard Quantez Robertson about the Wildcats’ playmaker-in-waiting Matt Pilgrim:

Robertson thinks UK fans will eventually be impressed by transfer Matt Pilgrim, too. Like Robertson, Pilgrim is a Cincinnati native.

“I didn’t get a chance to play with him in high school, but I played with him when he would come out with his brother in the summer to play pickup with us,” Robertson said. “He was very confident and aggressive. He tries to do everything as hard as he can and play the best he can every play.

“He was never afraid. At times he wouldn’t take some shots, but he got out of that. He wasn’t big and strong when I first knew him. Then he got taller and stronger to make him the player he is.”

Robertson, who has a team-high 67 assists, knew Pilgrim was at Hampton for two years and would occasionally check the Internet to see how he was playing.

“I didn’t know he was transferring to Kentucky until I saw it on TV. It was a shock to me,” Robertson said.

The Auburn senior guard can understand why Kentucky players have talked about how well Pilgrim has fit in already and how he has pushed Patterson and Perry Stevenson in practice.

“He is a humble guy who is fun to be around. At times, he can get a few jokes and laughs in. That’s how he is,” Robertson said. “He should fit well there. He picked the school and they are liking him. I would think he would be a great fit with those guys.”

Watching Pilgrim split time with Perry Stevenson & Josh Harrelson next year is going to be awesome.


Is Auburn VMI-esque?

Is Auburn VMI-esque?

Matt pointed out earlier that Auburn is built similarly to VMI — a guard-heavy rotation that penetrates and will find open shooters on drives. They may be similar in style, but they are very different teams when viewed through the season’s statistics.

Taking a look at the statsheet.com comparison of all games played, Auburn hasn’t scored nearly as much as VMI this season (VMI: 95.7 ppg; AUB 71.6 ppg), nor do they shoot a better percentage (VMI: 46.4 FG%, 74.1 FT%, 37.8 3PT%; AUB: 43.8 FG%, 59.9 FT%, 31.9 3PT%). The only thing Auburn does significantly better than VMI is rebound (VMI: 37.2 RPG; AUB: 41.1 RPG).

Auburn is nothing like VMI defensively, either — which is a good thing for the Tigers. Auburn allows significantly less points, shooting percentages and rebounding than VMI. Opposing teams seem to shoot more 3-pointers against the Tigers, which is probably due to VMI not having much interior defense. Auburn’s opponents shoot more FTs than VMI’s opponents mainly because Auburn actually tries to play defense. (VMI leads the nation in steals by jumping into passing lanes, but they don’t get many fouls — they are 189th in the nation in fouls.)

Another major difference between VMI and Auburn is the strength of schedule. Statsheet.com shows VMI’s SOS ranked 303rd in the nation, whereas Auburn’s SOS is ranked 102. Partially due to Auburn’s SOS and opponent’s results, Statsheet.com shows that Auburn’s RPI (118) is nearly as good as VMI’s (116). Ken Pomeroy’s SOS ranking (not based on RPI, but on pythagorean calculations) has Auburn’s SOS ranked 245th and VMI’s SOS ranked 304th. Ken’s calculations for expected winning percentage is very high on Auburn, ranking the Tigers 77th and VMI 181st.

The numbers tell us that Auburn may be an overall better team than VMI. Auburn may not score at the same blistering pace as the Keydets, the Tigers are significantly better on defense and rebounding. If Kentucky were to play VMI tonight, just with Kentucky’s latest improvement on perimeter defense and preventing turnovers should be enough to win. Kentucky may require more of a balanced game against the Tigers, including good offensive execution. Or we could just Hack-a-Tiger and let them leave points at the free-throw line.


Deuce Not Loose

Just a quick note on the Deuce Finch situation. I just spoke with him (one of the many perks of working in private school education), and he will not be visiting Rupp this evening. It would not have been an ‘official’ visit since he already made his to Lexington.

He went to BC last weekend, and he is making the final visit in his recruitment to Illinois this weekend. Just checked weather.com, and the high on Saturday is 18 in Champaign, the low 11. Atta way, Alberta Clipper! As you were.


A Quick, Fake Summary: Georgia Could Have Used This Guy

I was a little worried about this game. I thought this Georgia team, who was shooting roughly 35% 3pt for the year, might get a little hot beyond the arc and give us a game. And Georgia has several half-decent looks at a 3-ball. But thanks to their terrible stroking and an improved Kentucky perimeter defense, Georgia was held to 3-16 3pt shooting (18.8%).

Of course, Georgia couldn’t hit the broadside of the barn today. When they did, there were at least one Kentucky player’s hand in the way. For the whole game the Wildcats brought the defensive effort. Kentucky had 11 blocks today, forced 19 turnovers and 9 steals. Georgia shot 19-61 FG (31%), and was held under 50 points for the third game in a row.

Oh, and Georgia was 4-11 FT (36.9%). That’s awful.

Jodie Meeks led Kentucky scorers with a pedestrian 22 points (8-16 FG, 3-8 3pt). He was also imperfect at the free throw line (3-4), meaning he has missed the mark of 44 consecutive FTs made by Travis Ford. I’m sure we Kentucky fans are very dissapointed in Jodie. We hope he can go back to providing 35+ points a game very soon, else he should be benched for Mark Krebs. </sarcasm>

In other news, Raycom showed a graphic that featured Meeks and Patterson (15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks). Instead of using Patterson’s face, it was Dwight Perry. Instead of just coming off the bench first, he’s coming into the graphics first!

Kentucky wins 68-45. Matt should be along a little later with an 800-word missive on Jared Carter’s block and recovery. Until then, use this thread to whine about how we should have won by 40.


A Quick, Fake Summary: Jodie Meeks Takes Advantage of Knoxville’s Housing Market

A Quick, Fake Summary: Jodie Meeks Takes Advantage of Knoxville’s Housing Market

Jodie picked out a nice place! Its close to Dollywood, very spacy, and has lots of bathrooms. It was very affordable in this market — only 54 points (15-22 FG, 10-15 3pt, 14-14 FT), and no down payment! The previous owners — the Tennessee Volunteers men’s basketball team — seemingly gave up the place with very little fight.

Really. How do you let Jodie Meeks touch the ball in the second half ever! That was by far one of the biggest failures of defense. Jodie’s tenth (ninth? I can’t remember) 3-pointer was due to Michael Porter driving to the lane and then throwing to a completely uncovered Meeks at the top of the key. Really?

In the second half, the announcing team had Pat Summit join them. They asked, “how do you stop Jodie Meeks?” She said (I’m paraphrasing), “he is a no-touch player. You have to prevent him from ever touching the ball.”

Now she’s gotta negotiate renting out T-BA with Mister No Touch.

Matt, I officially request we have “we hate [insert team here] day” for every game the rest of the season.

You know your boy Jones will be on to give you his notes. Until then, bounce people. Bounce with joy.


Who's the pimp?

Gregg Doyel, America’s Sweetheart

Who's the pimp?

Who's the pimp?

For your after lunch giggles, please direct your attention to CBSSportsline.com writer — and our beautiful friend — Gregg Doyel. Seems like ol’ Greggy-pooh has gone and ticked off the Arkansas football fans, first by writing a column that encourages Ole Miss (and former Arkansas) Head Coach Houston Nutt to “run up the score” on Arkansas. (Ole Miss did win 23-21 on Saturday.)

Then Gregg goes on air with an Arkansas sports radio show, says that former Arkansas QB Mitch Mustain was the prostitute to former Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s pimp. (The Deadspin article indicates Doyel hung up before the hosts could ask a final question; instead, the host was saying, “Hey Gregg, I got a joke for ya,” which sounds like they were going to end with an insult themselves.)

Really, go listen to the radio show segment. Its great if you like listening to grade-A assholery.

HT: Deadspin.


Passages From Lesser Known Rick Pitino Motivational Books

This evening, while watching the Tribute to Lute Olson on ESPN Classic featuring the 97 finals, Mike Jones and TH revisited the library in the Kentucky Sports Radio compound to dust off some of the must reads on Rick Pitinos syllabus of failure. The following is from Chapter 3 of Rick Pitino’s Time Life Series: Motivating Change Throughout the House. We pick up with the following passage involving lighting:

For one to change a lightbulb, it must initially be determined that the lightbulb wants to change. If a lightbulb is not ready to change, then the systematic failure that will result from attempting to assimilate it with other working household items is imminent. A lightbulb that cannot be first changed from within cannot be changed with all the screwing in the world.

This applies to the electricity in all areas of the house. Much like Joanne, my wife, the mere fact of screwing will not change her. Even if I pursue younger, more attractive lightbulbs, this screwing will in no way effect the nature of our relationship as the relationship itself is not open for change.

The lightbulb is part a larger system, or network, that is dependent on each piece operating independently from one another in order to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the system as a whole. For example, Joanne is responsible in our household system for making appearances at all Final Fours and staying well above he Mason-Dixon line at all times not the Final Four. Her operation of a life independent of mine allows me to maximize the time-value of sampling and testing different lightbulbs throughout the various rooms in our house and beyond. The product of my experiences through trial and error are vast. Sometimes, for instance, it takes hours and hours of screwing to determine the perfect piece and placement for my needs. In some circumstances, it is necessary to change seemingly satisfactory lightbulbs even though they are no dimmer than when they were first screwed.

I would also remind you that lightbulbs can be picked up in non-traditional locales and utilized to the same extent that you would those found in more conventional places with ordinary methods of search. Given my time constraints, often my assistants and staff initially discover lightbulbs that they think would satisfy my styles and needs. Often, given the family like atmosphere of our association, they will first try out a lightbulb to make sure it screws properly in their home or office before recommending my personal use. However, I fully understand that this method may not be available to the everyday man but that should in no way disenfranchise him from trying unique locations for themselves.

Early in my career, I picked up lightbulbs everywhere from garage sales to those discarded in shady back alleys. Even lightbulbs that often appeared to be seriously damaged could often be put to use in a pinch. In my formative days, I would screw them in every conceivable port with varying degrees of success, even over Joanne’s objections. However, it is important to always remember that a light bulb that does not want to be screwed, should not be screwed not matter how perfect the slot may appear or even if the bulb has worked previously. This can be a costly lesson in a variety of situations.

Finally, I leave you with this: How many Rick Pitino’s does it take to screw in lightbulb? None, Rick Pitino is not walking through that door.


Some Thoughts from TH

turkey

— our o-line offers protection, but you wouldn’t make a condom out of it.

— I still think our Defense, when healthy, is top 10 in the nation.

— if our deep threat this year was any more missing our hot route audible would be called Caylee Anthony.

— if Mike Hartline goes through his progressions any quicker, Doc Brown’s gonna pop up at midfield.

— Joker’s play calling last game deserved its own show on Fox News Channel.

— Lones Seiber’s confidence level probably feels like The Greatest holding a snow globe.

— Dicky Lyon’s Jr. made me wanna shoop.

— sometimes I wonder if there is anyone on this planet, of nearly 7 billion people, who, if a contestant on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, would use Curtis Pulley as their phone-a-friend.

— I hope Phillip Fulmer still has a job come 11-29-2008; and doesn’t come 11-30-2008.

— Saturday night is extra important if you have any desires to make some poor decisions out of state around New Year’s.

— losing Tony Dixon from our running game this week is like Larry Flynt losing a shoe-at the end of the day, neither are gonna miss it.

— I am still confident that at around 10:30 Saturday night, Commonwealth’s gonna smell more like smoked bacon than Kermit the Frog’s finger.


Kentucky Sports Radio Girl: Candi

Today we introduce our second KSR girl to the family. Please welcome Candi…

Candi

Name: Candi

Age: 37

Hometown: Originally Oak Grove, KY, ; Currently Peewee Valley Women’s Prison (Parole Eligible Sept. 08)

Activities: Purchasing lots of Sudafed, traveling, sideboob, ant farming

Best Quality: Strong hands

Future Goals: Solve A Jumble

Favorite Sport: Checkers/Flip Cup (tie)

All-time Favorite UK Player: Chris Harrison

Favorite UK moment: When they sent me a letter saying I was a competitive applicant but unfortunately they could not accept me at that time.

Why she is a KSR Girl: Matt Jones is purty and has strong hands too:)

Prediction for UK this year: My third child gets fathered in Gainesville on October 25, 2008

Please welcome Candi to the KSR group, pending her release….