I hope today finds you fresh off a great holiday season with your family. Many of you likely either gave or received a piece of electronics, like an IPod or computer, and if so then you should likely thank today’s birthday honoree, Charles Babbage. Babbage was an Englishman who designed the first mechanical “counting machines” that could be used to counteract human error in the field of mathematics. Before Babbage’s designs, any mathematical equation was subject to the potential for a human miscalculation, thus causing numerous problems not only for mathematicians, but for all of those interested in producing reliable data. Babbage sought to remedy this by building a machine to do the work, and while the fruits of his labor were never realized during his lifetime (due largely to his fondness for brandy and the mathematics groupies of the era), his designs became the basis for early attempts at such machines. As you can see by the picture below, the machines were much bigger than your typical 8GB IPod of today, but I am sure would be as equally as susceptible to producing an inaccurate result if utilized by Shagari.
To the news…..
(1) Because of the Christmas holidays, there isnt a great deal of news to report. But that wont stop us from acting as if there is something to talk about! Today the UK basketball team returns to practice, after having been given two days off from the hardwood. The Cats next game is Saturday against a very patient San Diego team that has a number of similarities to Gardner Webb. Saturday may be the first game since Gardner Webb in which the entire UK minus Derrick Jasper will be on the same floor, and it is likely that Kentucky may end up with its 11th different starting lineup due to that fact. UK is not subject to the 20 hour a week practice rule at this time, so the team has been engaging in 4 hour practice sessions over the past week. We shall see if the results will be showcased by the performance on the floor.
(2) I hope you got a chance to read the Herald Leader article yesterday about Joe Crawford and his family. As you may remember from last season, Joe and his family lost part of their house due to a fire that destroyed much of the memorabilia from Joe’s playing days. Thanks to the NCAA using good sense (FINALLY), UK was able to contribute to the Crawford family and help redo the house and have the Crawfords move back into their home for the holiday season. Joe C’s career has been as tumultuous as any that I can remember at UK and his relationship with the fans has been shaky at best. But I really do pull for the kid to have a strong finish during this last semester of his career. Joe is a good kid and a talent…..his time at UK has not been what he may have hoped, but life is about finishing strong and I hope the fanbase supports him in his quest to do so this year.
(3) To me, the few days after Christmas mean one thing….high school hoops. Thanks to a change in scheduling this season, the two biggest tournaments in the state will be going on at the same time this year with the Fifth Third Classic in Lexington and the King of the Bluegrass in Louisville each taking over the next four days. Both tournaments have a number of very good teams and games that will feature Kentucky players of the future. The Fifth Third once again features Darius Miller, who will see at least four games at the gym, beginning on the 27th. If you havent seen the kid play, look up Mason County on the schedule and go watch him, as he always performs well during this tournament. If in Louisville, you can check out Rose Hill, where Dakotah Euton (UK commitment) and Chad Jackson (potential commitment of the future) will be holding court. Add to that Wesley Witherspoon of Georgia (a potential UK commitment in the future) and you have quite a show at Fairdale. If you are anywhere close to Lexington or the Ville this week, go to some games. I will be at both tournaments and it should be a great scene.
(4) Finally, it looks official that Keenan Burton will not play in the Music City Bowl next week. Burton has a lingering injury that will likely prevent him from taking the field in his last ever appearance in a UK uniform. It is a shame for Keenan, who has had a great UK career, but some injury problems throughout this season. While it wont be quite on par with the self-inflicted losses that the Florida State team will have for the game, the Burton injury (combined with that of Derrick Locke) does have a negative effect on the otherwise explosive offense.
More during the day…..