Another long day and night at work and then the Chris Knight concert (which was great by the way). Thus I will leave some of the goofy tidbits from the football luncheon for later on Thursday. However since the late night post is usually basketball related, I will mention that one of the highlights of my afternoon was getting to sit next to UK basketball color analyst Mike Pratt during the luncheon. As we talked about the season ahead and compared notes on the various players, one of Pratt’s tidbits caught my attention. He mentioned that he has been hearing the player that is pleasantly surprising everyone is Freshman AJ Stewart. Pratt mentioned that Stewart has come into the program as well coached as any player could be thanks to his excellent high school program in Arlington, and folks are really pleasantly surprised at what he may be able to bring to the table next season.
As long time readers of this blog know, I have always been a big fan of AJ Stewart as a player and contributor to the UK program. I like his athleticism, his ability to rebound and his shot (although it can be somewhat shaky). He represents the type of athlete that teams need to win at the collegiate level and that Kentucky has too often not had in recent years. However it had been my assumption that it might take a couple of years for Stewart to really find his role on the team. I expected him to see the floor this season, but really blossom into a regular contributor during his Sophomore and Junior seasons. However the scuttlebutt at the luncheon, which has been mentioned by others I have spoken to this offseason, is that we may see more from Stewart sooner rather than later. As I have said all year, if Kentucky can get one players worth of production out of the combo of Stewart and Razor Ramon, then that can be a HUGE uplift to the potential of this team. It is a good sign that these are the two young men getting considerable positive buzz from Lexington.
More throughout the day tomorrow….and yes, Kentucky Sports Radio IS making sure to be prepared…..cause Jay Glazer is going to get his…..