Monday was a long day….I began the morning in Bell County, found my way to Cincinnati, then back to Louisville, broke up a nerd fight on this site, saw Devin Harris hit possibly the craziest buzzer beater in history and then watched our man Bomani smooth talk his way to he hearts of the nation on HBO. That is a busy 16 hours and sets us up well for Tuesday, the 87th birthday of one Abe Vigoda. If you know Abe (and if you dont its your fault), then how you know him may very well point to exactly how old you are. If you are 45 or older, you know Abe as Sal Tessio from the Godfather or as a detective on Barney Miller. If you are 35-45, you know him from the false reports in the 1980s of his death by various news outlets on multiple occasions making him the hardest answer in “Dead or Alive” trivia. And if you are under 35, you know him from Conan O’Brien, including his appearance on Conan’s last late night show just last Friday. Either way, Abe is an American icon and someone who understands what Brian the Intern also realizes…..sometimes being the punchline to every joke suggests that you are also deep down well-liked.
To the news…..
(1): As the Cats begin their preparations for the next “Game of the Year” contest, this time in Columbia, news came out tonight that UK has agreed to allow ESPN to go “Behind the Scenes” with the team as they prepare to play the Gamecocks. For the next two days, ESPN cameras will record the Cats in all their daily practice, game film and other prep work for the trip to Columbia and then will continue to follow the team through the contest Wednesday night. The resulting footage will be compiled and shown on College Gameday on Saturday as an example of how a major college basketball team gets ready for a huge game to decide a conference crown. Another great step in garnering publicity for the basketball program (which has been improved exponentially by S.I.D., Dewayne Peevy over this year) and it should be very interesting to see what develops this week.
(2): Billy Gillispie today said what had been assumed for the past few weeks, mainly that Daniel Orton will soon be ready to return to the basketball court, which will allow him to participate in the Jordan Classic and in the Derby Festival here in Louisville. Many wondered why Orton was not picked for the McDonalds All American game last week, but Orton was not actually eligible for selection due to his missing over half the games for his team this season. Daniel however has recovered very well from his injury. Orton’s unveiling to the UK fanbase at the Derby Classic (where he will join Jon Hood and GJ Vilarino) should be a great moment and one that I am sure UK fans will be anxious to see in April.
(3): Former Cat football star Myron Pryor had a great day at the NFL Combine today, running a 40 yard dash in 5.01 seconds, a great time at his position and one that is likely to raise him on a lot of team’s draft boards. In addition, Pryor was the focus of a good portion of the NFL Network’s coverage as he participated in drills that caused a couple of the announcers (one of which I believe sounded like Warren Sapp) to talk about his mobile footwork and his athletic ability. We all know what Pryor can do from his time in Lexington but today was a bit of a coming out party for the big man on a national stage. He really took advantage of it and had a GREAT day for himself as he prepares for the draft.
(4): If you are like me and watched some basketball late tonight, you saw the performance of former Cat recruit Willie Warren, who had a strong game in a losing effort against Kansas. Warren is the latest of a series of former UK recruits who I have seen in various games in recent weeks. Hank Thorns is currently the starting PG at Virginia Tech, Marshall Moses gets some clock at Oklahoma State, Alex Legion has found himself on the bench at Illinois, Rotnei Clarke, Courtney Fortson and Michael Sanchez start at Arkansas, Tyrone Nash has gotten over the joys of prep school and gets spot duty at Notre Dame, Uche Echefu and Chris Singleton have not quite reached their billing at Florida State, Leonard Washington punches people in their private parts at USC, Isiah Thomas is running the show for Washington, Beaz Hamga didnt seem to like his time at UNLV and Roburt Sallie gets some minor clock for Memphis. Watching a random game and seeing one of these old names always makes me smile and is part of why recruiting can still be fun from time to time. Turn on CBS College Sports Network, see Tulane play Marshall and you dont care….then a substitute named Adam Williams checks in and its all better. Thats the power of recruiting…..
More all day today…….its time to salute the winner for Best Actor and focus on the Cocks as we get ready for the Cats and South Carolina…..