The guy in the pictures above wrote Friday Night Lights. Seriously. That’s Buzz Bissinger, the 59-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Friday Night Lights and other works, and earlier this week, he confessed to a rather odd addiction: shopping.
Now, I’m all for a little retail therapy. Just today I received a lovely package from J.Crew containing the product of my grief over UK not making the Tournament. However, our friend Buzz’s problems are on another level. In an essay for GQ, Buzz admits that over the past several years, he’s spent almost $600,000 on clothes as a way to cope with a mid-life crisis. In his own words: “I own eighty-one leather jackets, seventy-five pairs of boots, forty-one pairs of leather pants, thirty-two pairs of haute couture jeans, ten evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves.”
If you’re reading this, Mr. TT, I don’t want any more grief about my J.Crew sales addiction.
Whereas most people would just force themselves to cut up their credit cards, Buzz checked himself into an in-patient program to deal with his shopping addition. Clear eyes, no credit cards, can’t lose.
Now, on to the news from the day…
The biggest news of the day concerning basketball had to be word that Dominique Hawkins will find out whether or not he’s going to get a scholarship offer from UK on Friday. The news comes after Cal visited the Madison Central point guard on Tuesday. Hawkins is the favorite for Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball honor, which will be announced by our own Matt Jones and Winston Bennett on Friday night. He has said in the past that he’ll only go to a school that gives him a scholarship, which means that the lifelong Kentucky fan is likely waiting for Cal’s call before considering other offers.
If Hawkins has been told he’ll find out by Friday, that probably means Cal is meeting with his players this week to discuss their futures. There are countless scenarios for what could happen with the roster this week. In the interest of not speculating, let’s just say that a variety of personnel decisions could be made which would lead to Cal knowing by Friday if they’ll have a spot to offer Hawkins. And no, unfortunately that doesn’t include Andrew Wiggins announcing his intentions yet. He’s still on track for an April decision.
Has any other player trolled the UK fan base as much as Willie Cauley-Stein? All season, Willie has tweeted the fan base about negative messages he’s been sent, the team’s disappointing finish to the season, and now, whether or not he’ll go pro. After the loss to Robert Morris, Willie told reporters that while he wants to return to be part of a Championship run, his family’s financial situation may decide whether or not he goes pro. Willie was recently ranked 18th in Chad Ford’s Big Board of NBA draft prospects, but Ford told the Herald-Leader on Wednesday that he thinks Willie will stay at Kentucky. (Ford was unsure about Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin’s intentions.) When Julius Randle committed last week, Willie tweeted a countdown to Big Blue Madness, and from his tweets on Wednesday, it’s clear he’s getting a lot of messages from fans wanting him to come back for another year. Willie jokingly told his followers to “chill with the whole one more year thing” and that he gets it and said that UK fans’ obsession with who’s staying or leaving was “crazy”:
Lol it be driving Kentucky fans crazy on who staying and leaving ðŸ˜
— â˜†TheFr3shPrinc3â˜† (@WCS15timefor9) March 27, 2013
Yes, Willie. It is driving us crazy. Just tell us you’re staying and get it over with.
Andrew Wiggins won another award on Wednesday–The Gatorade National Player of the Year Award. Former NBA great and fellow Gatorade POY Alonzo Mourning surprised Wiggins at Huntington Prep with the award Wednesday morning, which explains the mysterious 11 a.m. press conference that got everyone so excited. Wiggins said that he was actually in the middle of a yawn when Mourning walked in and was so startled that he almost leapt from his chair.
Wiggins’ senior mixtape also hit the web this week, and if you haven’t seen it yet, GO WATCH IT NOW. (Warning: it may be hard to sleep afterwards.) Despite the serious grown a** man moves Wiggins shows off, he wants people to remember that he’s still a teenager: “I’ve been shown a lot of attention and people expect a lot from me, but those expectations come from adults who are 20 years older than me. I’m still a young guy. I’m still learning.”
He can do all of that and he’s “still learning”? Oh good lord.
Spring (football) awakening
Mark Stoops invited the media in to watch Wednesday’s spring football practice, and even let Matt and Ryan do the radio show on the sidelines. Nick Roush had a full recap on the site earlier, but the big news was that DL Donte Rumph suffered a shoulder injury on Monday and will be out indefinitely. Stoops said the injury was significant and may require surgery, which is tough news considering Rumph’s size, talent, and consistency so far in practice. Regardless, it was the media’s first glimpse into the Mark Stoops era, and from all reports, the differences between it and the previous staff’s practices is eye-opening. The most noticeable difference is the tempo, which the staff has sped up to the point that players don’t quit moving between drills. Also noticeable is Za’Darius Smith, the manchild of a JuCo who stood head and shoulders above his teammates at practice, causing media to creepily snap pictures of him left and right. Smith and Bud Dupree are flourishing in Stoops and DJ Eliot’s schemes, and although Rumph’s injury is a blow (timetable to return TBD), the defensive line is still in good shape.
It was Maxwell Smith’s day to take most of the snaps in the rotation, and Smith looked like the front runner in the QB battle over Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles. There’s still a lot of time left for the others to make up ground, but according to those who were there, Smith seemed to be one step ahead. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have many targets to throw to right now. As we’ve said all week, the Cats’ main problem right now is a depleted WR corps. Until the freshmen come in, expect to see lots of tight ends and running backs running routes.
Mark Stoops and DJ Eliot stopped by after practice to talk to Matt and Ryan about the changes to the program and how things are looking so far this spring. Click here to listen to Wednesday’s show from Nutter Field House.
On Wednesday morning, we posted one of the proposals to renovate Commonwealth Stadium. It’s unclear whether or not the proposal is one of many, but it’s currently the only one posted on UK’s website.
That’s all for now. See you soon.