Due to the recruiting overload that occurred this week, the News and Views posts were fewer and farther between than normal. But I wanted to end the week with such a post, mainly because I wanted to give a salute to one of the true icons of modern television who is retiring, Bob Barker. Bob Barker is retiring after 50 years on television in some form, including over 30 years as the host of “The Price is Right.” Barker is really the last remnant of a bygone era, the era of game show hosts with a certain quasi-sophisticated look who were part of America’s living rooms on a daily basis. Wink Martindale, Richard Dawson, Gene Rayburn, Bob Eubanks and others were part of the fabric of America and were beloved throughout all ends of the country by those that found themselves home on weekdays. However none was likely as popular as Barker, whose timeslot gave him an odd cult following of little old ladies and lazy college students. “Come on Down” is a phrase that everyone in America knows (although not uttered by Barker) and Bob’s universal cultural appeal was seen in the famous scene in Happy Gilmore where Adam Sandler fights Barker in a memorable scene. Bob Barker is the type of person you dont see much anymore on television…..a universally liked figure whose relevance extends to all generations. He is retiring and with him, goes a whole generation of game show celebrities. Bob was the leader and after 50 years, he deserves one ceremonious spin of the big wheel on the way to the Showcase Showdown…..
With that, we go to the news…..
(1) Today was a great day for the gathering of info as Billy Clyde and Coach Cyp both made public statements about recruiting and the UK team for next year. Billy Clyde did a rare thing for a UK coach in recent years….he talked to the press in depth about a recruiting class and took questions…..causing the adoring press to fawn over him yet again (including me). Here were some quotes taken from the press conference (which we missed due to work) that are interesting:
In the short amount of time we had in recruiting, and building a relationship, I thought we did very well. I don’t think we could imagine doing much better. I think we addressed some needs with both signings, and I’m really excited about them.”
On getting Patrick Patterson:
“Well it’s obvious that he and his entire family had opened their eyes and hearts to the previous staff. That previous staff did an outstanding job of developing a relationship, and sometimes it can be hard on both the player and family when there’s a change. To their credit, and to our benefit, they allowed us the opportunity; and so I’m very, very grateful that the family was open. I’m sure when you have a relationship, and there’s a change, that there was a time period when they didn’t want to consider us very strongly. You usually want to get things done very quickly, but in this case, I think going to the last day (of the signing period) was a huge benefit to us. So I’m very appreciative and grateful to his family for doing that for us. They have a tremendous son, not only as a basketball player, but also a person. He’ll do great things both in the classroom and on the basketball court for the University of Kentucky, and I’m looking forward to that. But as far as ground made up, they’ll have to tell you about that, but I can tell you that it was very beneficial to us for him to extend it to the last day.”
On whether the roster is complete:
“You probably won’t ever hear me say it’s complete until we have 13 McDonalds’ All-Americans, and they’ve already played for two or three years, and we have 13 more coming in. Complete is a term that I guess you could say just about anything
On Alex Legion:
“I think with Alex we’re not only getting a great basketball player, but also a great leader and teammate. Anytime you have a guy that’s been with you for a month, and he’s helping you recruit other guys; that shows you that he wants to win. It shows you that it’s not just about him being a great shooter and player, but that he’s got those intangibles about him that can easily get overlooked.
On Mike Williams and AJ Stewart:
I haven’t seen A.J. as much as Mike, but I’ve studied him as much as possible. A.J. Stewart is as good an athlete as there is. And Michael Williams is an extremely hard worker, who’s really improving, and he’s big. I think you always want to recruit the tallest, (best) players you can get, and that sounds simple, but that doesn’t mean you want to take a guy just because of his size; you want to get good players. But if there’s a tall, really good player, compared to a guy who’s not as tall, than you obviously want to try and get the tallest. Those guys usually make a difference. I’m excited about those two guys as well. I think that Mike’s new to the game, and I think all his basketball is in front of him, and I think that A.J. with his athletic ability will give us a great deal of versatility.”
Here is a link to video of the entire press conference. A good viewing if you have time:
(2) Coach Glen Cyprien joined us on the Sports Mob today (hopefully audio later in the day) and gave one of the best interviews I have heard from an assistant coach ever. He went into detail about his feelings on the recruiting class and what is to come. He mentioned that there may still be 1-2 members of the class added, that he sees great potential in Ramon Harris, that recruiting is a 365 day job with Billy Clyde, that the three man staff visited 12 2008 or 2009 players on the last day of visitation period and other gems. Coach Cyp evaluated the players on the team and said that every position on the floor is open at this point. The interview was very interesting and is worth a listen when we get it up. He called from a recruiting trip that he was on with Billy Clyde, showing once again that this is a man who does not sleep.
(3) After the ending of the Patrick Patterson sweepstakes, we here at Kentucky Sports Radio are still feeling our way around. There was a lot to process Wednesday, but a funny secondary story on the affair to me was Patrick’s reaction to Duke. His comments about not “feeling” the Duke guys were funny and as Bomani Jones said on the show today, they expressed the feelings of thousands of fans across the nation and made him one of the country’s favorite players instantly. The Pattersons’ relationship with Duke was interesting as the fall visit did not go well (with the alleged incident I described on the radio about the conversation with K as to what position Patrick would play) and that hung over the recruitment the entire time. Duke may have even been eliminated in the fall (with UVA in the final three) if not for some last minute adept maneuvering by K to keep Duke in the mix. Duke losing is a story here…..when Duke zones in on someone, they get them…..period. Cherokee Parks, Chris Duhon, Shane Battier, Daniel Ewing, etc are just a few of the guys that the Devils have taken from UK over the years. Now UK has taken one back…..that in and of itself is a big story.
(4) We will go back to 08 guys beginning next week, but for now enjoy what UK has. Alex Legion was on the show today and you can hear the excitement in his voice about joining the UK team. He was an important part in the recruitment of Patrick Patterson and will be an important part of the recruitment of some of the 2008 guys. Coach Cyp even said that if he performs, he could even start next year. It is is easy to focus on Patterson, but Legion and even AJ Stewart may see quality minutes next year and surprise some folks.
We are live from Shenanigans on Bardstown Road today from 3-7 pm…..come see us. We got more to come through the day and if you are in Lexington, two big baseball games on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Woo is sick so the graduation party is postponed, but the Patterson celebration is on…..