This has been one heck of a night of basketball. The Bulls-Celtics series has been one for the ages and tonight’s game was epic. By the end, there was a redhaired guy with a headband in the game, so you knew both teams were spent. But it wasnt the big event of the night for me personally. After having a nice dinner at Jasons Deli (good salads), I got a call from a big UK fan and friend of the blog, offering me a ticket to the Barnstable-Brown party. Now for those of you that know me well, an event like Barnstable-Brown is not exactly my normal social crowd. I tend to be more sweatshirt/hanging out with Hubby than going to a black tie event with celebrities. But how can I miss this opportunity? I am rolling solo (and if any KSR female readers will be going, let me know), but there will be much to see. So to get prepared, I got a tuxedo and scanned the celebrity guest list for the big event. Here are the stars coming out:
Boyz II Men
Miss Kentucky USA
Lee Ann Womack
Quite a diverse list….the musical entertainment for the evening is Boyz II Men and En Vogue (making this the same musical selection as my middle school prom). Mosley and I spent part of the evening debating who was the biggest name (we decided it was either Hef, Paris Hilton or Tom Brady) and who was the smallest (gotta be Kendra Wilkinson). But the question remains, since I will be there, what questions should I ask to each celebrity? Tomlin suggested that I act like each person was a big UK fan and just ask about where they think John Wall will go to school. Mosley suggested I only ask each person about what we know them for (aka “hey Valerie Bertanelli…One Day at a Time was great…that Schneider was CRAZY!”). But I want your suggestions…what should I ask and to who….the best three, I PROMISE I will ask and tweet the answers (www.twitter.com/kysportsradio). Have at it….
To the news…..
(1): At Jason’s Deli, my nice feta cheese salad was interrupted with text messages screaming about the supposed imminent commitment of Will Barton, the #1 rated SG in America to the Cats. Kentucky Ink supposedly put the story out earlier today, Maggard quickly confirmed and took credit and the UK nation was quickly excited. However Jeff Drummond of TCP then said he wasnt hearing the same thing, which led me to see what I could find out. I spoke with Evan Daniels of Scout.com (who is quickly becoming my go-to recruiting guy…he is great) who told me that he spoke with Barton tonight and “he told me that he liked Kentucky a lot but that he was wide open and was in no hurry to make a decision.” So there you go…Barton is a great player and may one day be a Cat…but when that day will be seems to be not clear at this time.
(2): I think maybe my favorite story so far in the 2009 recruiting world was today’s news that John Wall will visit NC Central. For those of you that dont know, Central is an historically black college in Durham that plays Division II basketball. So Wall isnt going there…but I love the randomness of him choosing to visit there. I think he should visit Centre as well, just to even it out.
It also reminded me of my Central story. While in law school, I represented an individual on Death Row during his appeal for clemency. During the process, my partner in the case (a 6’8″ British Rugby player lawyer who may have been the most muscular dude I have ever known) and I went around North Carolina speaking at colleges about the Death Penalty. We spoke at eight schools, the first of which was Central. Speaking to an all black audience of about 500 students, this mountain boy and British gent spoke about the evils of the death penalty in general and our client in particular. At the end, we had a question and answer session. The first guy I called on said,
“So, are you against the death penalty all the time?”
I said that yes I was, but then said that even if one wasnt againt the death penalty in general, my client should still be granted clemency. I called on the next young woman…
“So, what if it were Osama bin Laden…would you be against the death penalty then?”
This was of course not too long after 9/11 and I said that while I thought bin Laden should be either killed in battle or captured, I wouldnt favor an execution because I was against the death penalty in ALL cases. The next guy then asked,
“So what if you had a sister and she was killed, would you be against the death penalty then?”
I once again said yes, and repeated that no matter what the hypothetical, nothing would make me for the death penalty. The next guy stood up and said…
“So if your mother and father….”
And before he could finish, my British friend Ed interrupted and said, “HE BLOODY SAID HE WAS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY. STOP ASKING THIS CRAP!” The dude sat down sheepishly…and no one else asked a question. I have never seen a crowd collectively cave quicker than that one did. We later agreed that he needed to work on his tact for future speeches. As you can see, John Wall needs to know this info about NC Central before he makes his choice.
(3): Dominique Ferguson narrowed his list to seven schools today, one of which was Kentucky. Ferguson continues to express reservations about the possibility of UK because he worries that Calipari will make him play the “4” instead of his preferred “3”. I must say that this worry baffles me for Ferguson, because those positions can be equivalent in the Calipari system, where he often likes to play four guys on the perimeter. Still that is a concern and one Calipari will have to address.
(4): Calipari spent today in LA at his EA Sports shoot and will be on Jim Rome tomorrow during the day. The pictures from the shoot that were linked earlier are extremely impressive and show a UK fanbase dressed up cheering on the video game Cats. Worth checking out if you havent seen them.
(5): Finally one interesting thing from Dick Weiss today. He confirmed in a blog post that Lance Stephenson did contact UK about coming here as part of the 2009 class. That gives even more creedence to the idea that he was the guy Calipari talked about when he said he didnt want guys who were “takers” instead of “givers.” Cal turning down Top 10 recruits….my how UK’s recruiting fortunes have changed in the last month.
We will have a ton all day….I will be checking in from Oaks and the part all day and night, while Beisner and the crew will be managing the grunt work during the day. Stay tuned…..