We here in Louisville are covered with snow and dealing with the Blizzard of 08 (I like to name things) and trying to figure out if we can get up and actually go to work tomorrow. However now as a self-employed person, the days of hoping for snow days so as to get off of your job isnt quite as exciting. Skipping work means skipping pay and that is no good. But if I were going to skip a day, I would do it to celebrate the future release of today’s birthday boy Arsenio Hall’s Best of Boxset. Ahh Arsenio Hall….no one rose faster and seemingly no one disappeared quicker. Making us all happy in “Coming to America” (a very underrated movie), Arsenio burst on the scene with a likeable personality and a Will Smith-with edge act that captured the hearts of Middle America. He was rewarded with a talk show that actually produced a number of iconic American moments….he had the first ever “Dawg Pound” with whoots….he put a lot of celebrities on late night television that couldnt get on elsewhere (i.e. rappers….who can forget the “Whoomp vs Whoot There It Is” rap off)….and of course he put Bill Clinton on television playing the saxaphone. Regardless of whatever you think about Bill, the above picture is a huge moment in American politics. From this point forward, all the candidates had to do the “entertainment” circuit and being cool had at least some role in getting elected. Arsenio gave us that if nothing else. Now he is gone and I have no idea what he is doing….but he will always be remember for the movie and Bill and the Sax….which is more than you can say for most of the rest of us…..
To the news….
(1) JODIE MEEKS: Billy Clyde said today that Jodie Meeks practiced a bit today, although he wasnt at full strength and his conditioning was poor. An undercurrent of debate you often here around those covering UK is whether or not Jodie Meeks was rushed back into service. And one can understand this question. It is not common for a person coming back from an injury to come back….play a game or two….sit out two weeks….play a game or two….sit out two more weeks, etc. Anyone who watched Jodie run awkwardly early in his comeback had to question whether the timing was right. There have been issues a bit with Meeks and his comeback and not everyone, ranging from Meeks to Gillispie to the training staff have all been on the same page. There is one school of thought that says that Meeks should simply sit out for the rest of the year, but at this point it seems that the plan is still to try and get him back. Here is hoping that the training staff holds off on that comeback until something resembling a full healing has occurred….which certainly has yet to happen.
(2) SCOTTY HOPSON: Over the last few days, the topic of discussion between many UK fans has been Gillispie’s comment that he would not recruit a player committed to another school. Many have seen this as a subtle attempt at explaining why Hopson claims he has yet to be contacted by UK. For his part, Scotty said today on a radio program that he is no longer committed to Mississippi State and is open to being recruited….which many UK fans are taking to mean that Gillispie will now contact him. And maybe this potential charade could occur….however it is just that, a charade. Make no mistake, Scotty Hopson has let everyone know for months that he is open to being recruited. He has said on my show and others that he is looking around and that his commitment is in flux. And Billy Gillispie has not avoided Hopson. He has been to a couple of his games, including the All A Tournament Classic final, which I dont think he attended due to his unabided love for Hazard basketball. Hopson and UK may be doing an elaborate dance….but the notion that Gillispie and UK have been staying away from Hopson because of a prior commitment, one in which Hopson himself has said was no longer binding, simply isnt correct. I am not sure if the two parties will get together….but it isnt formalities that is keeping them apart.
(3) CATS IN NCAA: Lets stop one school of thought right now. At this point in the season, the Cats SHOULD make the NCAA TOURNAMENT. Those who say otherwise (including my friend Jay Bilas) are simply crazy. The Cats have 8 games left….only two of those (at Vandy and at Tennessee) will likely see the Cats as underdogs. Thus if what should happen the average amount of times happens, the Cats go 6-2….which puts the Cats 12-4 in conference. As Bryan the Intern pointed out, no BCS conference team with a 12-4 conference record has EVER been left out of the NCAA Tournament. Win the games they should and the Cats are in….and it wont be an upset, contrary to popular belief.
(4) THOM KAUMEYER: Just one month ago, the Cats hired a new Defensive Back coach named Tom Kaumeyer from Tulane. We were all excited at the new name and the chance to have a guy named Tom around the program. Now one month later, he is leaving to take the same position with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tulane giveth, Jack Del Rio taketh away….I know nearly nothing about Thom, but if the NFL is taking him, that says something. It reminds me of the old Charles Barkley line while doing the NBA Draft when Tony Parker was selected out of France to go to San Antonio. The host said to Barkley, “what do you think of Tony Parker as a player.” Barkley said, “I dont know anything about him, but if he went 15th, he must be pretty good.” Thom is headed to the NFL from Tulane…he must be pretty good.
(5) MIAMI of OHIO: Word is that the football Cats will replace Temple on next year’s schedule with Miami (OH) in Commonwealth. The latest word is that Wally Sczerbiack will not be eligible but that their old basketball coach that looks like an old jazz musician from the 20s will be on the sidelines.
The basketball Cats were in Tennessee tonight and went to the movies….I have no idea what they saw, but I think we should all assume it was the new Matthew McConoughy and Kate Hudson romantic comedy (Mark Krebs picked that with the threat of force). I like the idea of the team at a movie, although I think we should figure out what movie past or present would best suit them to watch.
More throughout the day as we enjoy the pure snow….