We are about to shift firmly into the Presidential election season in this country and thus America will soon be focusing strongly on who will be the next leader of this country. Because I am a huge political buff and am keenly interested in the political fight (my guy is Obama), we will talk a bit about the election cycle on here. In fact, as we progress through the holidays, we will “introduce” the candidates in a very Kentucky Sports Radio style. But before we do that, it may be good to take note of the current President of Argentina, Christina Fernandez de Kirchner. Whether you are a fan, or a sworn enemy, there is no doubt that the main story this election cycle is Hillary Clinton and her bid to continue the Bush-Clinton-Bush cycle in the highest office. Many question whether she can be elected, but Kirchner shows that there is precedent for such an effect. After Kirchner’s husband finished his term, she followed the lead of Eva Peron and ran for his seat, surprising Argentina’s dismissing elitist class by winning over the public and showcasing a broad range of knowledge on all the issues….overwhelming her challenger. She is now in office, quite popular and a beacon for all young women in Latin and South America. Will Hillary do the same thing? My gut says no, but her story will be THE story over the next few weeks.
To the news…..
(1) UK REBOUNDS: Saturday was a very frustrating loss for Kentucky fans, in large part because watching the game many were wondering, what else is there to do? The Cats played relatively well, got great games from Ramel Bradley and Patrick Patterson, a good game from Joe Crawford and a strong showing from Michael Porter. Still they couldnt break the 1-3-1 and had no answer for Robert Vaden (or at least were unwilling to try an answer other than Porter). AJ Stewart saw no floor time and Perry Stevenson’s hands had us yearning for the days of Shagari. So what do the Cats do? Well as Rick Bozich pointed out yesterday in his column, Billy Clyde and Joe C must get on the same page. At this point, Joe and Ramel are two of the three best players and they must be the focus of the offense and the point production. Billy Clyde and Joe have to see eye-to-eye no matter what. Without Joe, this team cant win….period. As much as I like “building for the future”, with the exception of Patterson, none of the young guys are the glue to the future. Joe has to become a starter and this team has to learn to deal with defenses that are beyond the standard 2-3 zone and man-to-man. Until that happens, UAB games are going to keep repeating all season.
(2) AJ STEWART: Along those lines, you have to ask why dont we see AJ Stewart? I am all for the notion that “whoever gets it, earns it,” but there is no doubt in my mind that AJ is one of the 5 best healthy players the Cats have….he simply must play. Now it is unclear whose fault is bench presence is, but whoever is to blame, it has to change. If it is the coach believing that AJ is not doing exactly what he wants in practice, then I think he may need to alter that vision. I like the effort of Porter, Coury and Harris, but they simply arent good enough to be SEC starters….period. AJ may not be either….but he has a chance….and he has to have the opportunity to play. If it is AJ’s fault because he is goofing around or not working, then the kid must adjust….and soon. With no big men yet signed for next year, AJ has to be an option at the 3/4…..he simply has to. I like AJ as a person and think he can be a great player, but he MUST get on the court. Whoever is preventing that from happening, needs to make a change…..the team NEEDS it….badly.
(3) FOOTBALL: It is easy to get lost and sidetracked on the way to the bowl game as the Kentucky team practices and gets ready and news is sparce. What is clear is that Nashville is going to be crazy once again for the big game and the town will be painted blue once again. Virtually every one I know is headed to Nashville and the Music City Bowl folks expect to have an 80% UK crowd at the game. This is a huge game for this program on a lot of levels and would be a great win over a big name for a second straight year. What I am interested to see is which player does a “Stevie Johnson” and uses this practice time to step up and make a statement for next year at the game. Any suggestions?
(4) The VILLE: As Kentucky continues to struggle, we can take a little solace in one thing, Louisville may be playing even worse. With more talent and Final Four dreams, the Cards are pitiful and self-destructing, all at the hands of Traitor Rick and his sidekick Stevie Masiello. If you want entertainment (and I know you do), read this article by my man Gregg Doyel on Rick’s handling of the Derrick Caracter situation. Gregg rips….and I mean RIPS Pitino for his hypocricy and ridiculous handling of the team “discipline” in recent years. Gregg spares no words, but hits the nail on the head….you need to read it.
More later today, including the first look at Kentucky HS basketball this year and our attempts to get Jenn Sterger on Kentucky Sports Radio in Nashville…..