I intended to make tonight’s post dedicated to one of my very favorite writers of all time, David Halberstam, who passed away in a car accident today. Two of Halberstam’s books, “The Best and the Brightest” and “Breaks of the Game” are two of my favorites of all time and I was very sad to read the news of his passing. But the Intern has a good memoriam to the man coming tomorrow, so we will let him handle those duties. Also passing today was Boris Yeltsin, a man who was Russia’s first democratically elected President and ushered in a difficult transition from Communist rule to the type of democracy now practiced in the country. Yeltsin’s life was mixed and his rule in Russia was varied. He helped promote some reforms, but also watched as most of the nation’s industry was looted by private barons. He allowed greater openness in the country but also presided over much bloodshed, most significantly in Chechnya. For many of my generation, it is difficult to conceive of a world where Russia was the main international player outside of America, but for others who grew up in the Cold War, Yeltsin is remembered as the last major leader of the former proud state. RIP.
Now onto the much less important news….
(1) If you havent read my interview below with Alex Legion, go ahead and scroll down and take a look. I spoke with him tonight around 10:15 and he gave me quotes that if you are a Kentucky fan, have to make you smile. He told me that contrary to the Fox Sports report, he had not committed to UK, but he did not give any indication that the substance behind the report….that it was basically all but a done deal and the announcement would be soon, was incorrect. Legion spoke glowingly of UK and gave insight into his visit. He also talked about his attempts to persuade Patrick Patterson and help bring the big man to Lexington. Legion is extremely intelligent and very different on the phone from what some have portrayed him in the media. I am not sure the rationale for the early Fox and Scout reports, but I think in the end they will be found to be true. Legion seems destined for UK and it could come much sooner rather than later.
(2) If you havent heard yet, Stephon Pettigrew turned down an offer from UK to walk-on/receive financial aid to the school. Pettigrew’s coach told the Lexington Herald that he considered the offer, but ultimately decided to go where a scholarship was available. IT is an unfortunate end to a rather long process for Pettigrew, but hopefully he will find success whereever he ends up (Xavier?)
(3) Matthew Mitchell was named the women’s coach at Kentucky today. Mitchell is a former UK assistant under Mickie Demoss and has been the head coach at Morehead St for some time. Mitchell is considered by many to be a rising star in the profession and comes highly recommended from all who have been around him. I never second guess Mitch Barnhart on hires as he has never made one that has turned out badly….so we welcome Mitchell to the fold.
(4) I hope you saw Chuck Hayes tonight in the Houston playoff game. He had a double-double early in the 3rd quarter and continued to show why he is one of the toughest players to play the game. I love watching Hayes outwork guys for rebounds and score when he really has no business playing the position he does due to size. Hayes makes UK proud every time he takes the court.
(5) Making UK less proud is former Cat Ron Mercer who is wanted for questioning following a stabbing outside a strip club in Nashville. The details are fuzzy, but apparently a dispute occurred between Mercer and others in the club (including the dancers) and a bouncer ended up with a stab wound. Not good for the former UK star who had a tattoo that always made me wonder if the ball would finally go through the hoop.
There should be much more throughout the day…..Alex Legion will be on our show at 5 pm…..Jai Lucas news is coming soon, although we arent sure when as he moves towards making a decision by the end of the week. The Michael Sanchez visit is either Tues or Wed (last I heard) and more should be known soon. There is a lot going on…..stay tuned….