I’ve got a soft spot for Claire Danes going back to “My So-Called Life,” a show which I had to sneak over to my friend’s house to watch the reruns of because my parents refused to get cable. (Seeing Jared Leto was totally worth the trouble.) Danes is a fascinating actress to me; she’s not conventionally pretty and although she can seem very “ice queen” at times (like Nicole Kidman), she can cry with the best of them. The latter quality is truly on display in Danes’ latest hit, “Homeland.” Like many, I am hooked on the Showtime series, and one of the best things about it is how believably psychotic Danes’ character, Carrie, is. Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say that Carrie, a CIA officer, is bipolar and driven to take down a man who she believes is a POW turned terrorist. Danes masterfully pulls off Carrie’s manic mood swings, and her “ugly crying face” became a meme after only a few episodes.
Looking back, Claire Danes has a history of ugly crying, going all the way back to “My So-Called Life.” Claire, your crying may be ugly as heck, but it’s real. And for that, we salute you:
Happy birthday, Claire. Let’s news it and views it:
— The big news of the day was former Nebraska running back Braylon Heard announcing he will transfer to Kentucky. Heard, a sophomore, decided to part ways with the Huskers because he was unhappy with his reduced role in the offense. He’ll sit out the 2013 season and will return for 2014 with two years of eligibility remaining. Why did he choose UK over Pitt? In his own words:
“I feel it is the right spot because I feel like I fit in well at the university. Kentucky will set up the run really well. They have good players on the outside, three good QBss, a great line and backs. And yes, can’t beat being in the SEC.”
Landing Heard is a huge get for Mark Stoops and company. It doesn’t hurt that Heard is an alum of Cardinal Mooney High in Youngstown, Ohio, where both Stoops and Vince Marrow (formerly on the Nebraska staff) attended. Last year, Heard averaged 6.69 yards per carry in 55 attempts and scored three touchdowns. Coming out of high school, the four-star running back was ranked the fifth best running back in the nation and the 57th overall player in the 2010 class. With Raymond Sanders and Jonathan George graduating after this upcoming season, Heard will join Josh Clemons, Dyshawn Mobley and JoJo Kemp in what will be a loaded backfield in 2014.
Heard’s transfer is the latest sign that the Ohio pipeline is open and flowing, with several top recruits from the football fertile state scheduled to attend Saturday’s spring game. Nick Roush will have a complete list of the recruits in attendance for you Friday afternoon, along with some more previews of the game.
— We’re only a few days away from the Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2), and judging by their Instagram and Twitter feeds, Kentucky’s All-Americans are enjoying themselves. Julius Randle, Andrew and Aaron Harrison are paired with Andrew Wiggins on the East Team, while Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, and James Young are on the West Team. So far, all they’ve done is practice, but according to ESPN’s Adam Finkelstein, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, and the Harrison Twins all played together at one point during the day. Want some practice highlights? Of course you want some practice highlights:
— Wiggins Watch: No news on Wiggins, except that he’s enjoying his time up in Brooklyn for the Jordan Brand Classic. Rob Fulford, Wiggins’ HS coach and the head coach of the JBC East Team, gave Adam Zagoria an “update” on Wiggins’ decision timetable…meaning he gave no update at all. Fulford said that Wiggins is a “different kid,” and will make his decision “when the time is right.” Fulford also threw some shade on the notion that the UK All-Americans would affect his decision: “I don’t think those guys are swaying him….Either he’s going to come or he’s not.” Whenever he does decide, don’t expect a press conference. Fulford said that knowing Wiggins, he’ll probably just have someone else tweet it for him.
— Just in case you were doubting the swagger of some of UK’s incoming frosh, both Dakari Johnson and Andrew Harrison said they could beat Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one in his prime. (UPDATE: Apparently both Dakari and Andrew backed off those statements later on.) However, the rest of UK’s All-Americans haven’t backed off their flashy predictions for next season, with Julius Randle telling Adam Zagoria that the group, who has already clicked, wants a National Championship. “And that’s it.” Believing is one thing, but it has to be backed up with hard work, which Andrew Harrison guaranteed on a daily basis. The future Cats said that the JBC was yet another opportunity to start forming chemistry for next season. Right guys?
Andrew Harrison: “We’re trying to get chemistry. Everybody knows what we each can do, so I think we’re past that stage.”
Dakari Johnson: “It’s going to help a lot because then we’ll be able to get used to each other. It was a little weird at first, but (coming together) started at the McDonald’s game. All week, we’re hanging out and playing with each other.”
Marcus Lee: “Most teams don’t get all their recruits together at the same time during an all-star game. Luckily enough, we’ve gotten to do this twice together.”
James Young: “We all just clicked and are becoming friends really quickly. But we’re going to have to work hard and do what we have to do. We’ll keep the rotation going, but really we’ll just do whatever it takes to win a national championship”
— I linked his story earlier, but Gary Parrish has a quote that will make you all warm and fuzzy for next season:
“What Calipari is enrolling is literally the best collection of prospects anybody has ever enrolled. Ever. In history.“
— In a bit of bad news, Anthony Davis was diagnosed with a sprained MCL and bone bruise Thursday afternoon after a collision in Wednesday night’s game against the Kings. He’ll have to sit out the Hornets’ three remaining games.
— Finally, your random news headline of the day: Fired Keeneland worker charged with stealing $786,080 from the track’s ATM machines.
That’s all for now. Matt and Drew will be live from the Maxim Clubhouse/IZOD Social Hub at the Masters in the morning, with a surprise 11 a.m. football commitment. Don’t miss out.