This has been one of the busier weekends for me in recent memory, coming on the heels of a whirlwind last couple of weeks that have left us spinning in a number of directions. Unfortunately some of the blog-related activity has slowed a bit in that time, and for that we are sorry. But there is a lot going on in the Kentucky Sports Radio/Rob Gidel/Matt Jones world that will hopefully show itself in the next couple of weeks. But for now, be a little patient with us and know that everything will (hopefully) be cleared up by the start of football season and the blog will continue to provide as much info as is humanly possible. Because the week has been a bit bizarre, honoring today’s birthday of Danny Bonaduce seems appropriate. For those of you that have followed Bonaduce’s post-Partridge Family career, you know that Danny is……well, unique. Whether he is on the radio, a VH1 reality show or walking down the street, it seems that Danny is usually angry, neurotic and generally funny…..not to mention a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. Bonaduce is now part of the Adam Corolla radio show (which is generally pretty good) and is getting a divorce from his wife…..thus ladies, you should know…..if Billy Clyde turns you down, there is always Danny B.
To the news…..
(1) The big news of the weekend has been the “who is that” quality of the basketball recruiting visits that took place in Lexington. Much of the speculation has centered around the rumor that “people” close to Scotty Hopson were on UK’s campus and trying to set up some sort of relationship between the UHA star and Kentucky. As I have said here for some time, I dont think the Hopson story has been definitively told, but what is clear is that Scotty will say nothing publically that suggests he is not going to honor his commitment to Mississippi State. He told Jeff Drummond of TCP that he is 100% committed to the Bulldogs, a statement he has repeated to me on a couple of occasions. Thus while it may be incorrect (although I have no way of knowing for sure) that Hopson had people visiting UK, it is likely that if anything were to ever happen to change Scotty’s connection to MSU, we will only learn about it after the fact. Hopson reports are generally unhelpful from here on out….it is clear that all parties have said what they have to say and all that is left to see is whether he signs on the dotted line on Fall signing day.
(2) Another person rumored to be on campus this weekend was the always entertaining Willie Warren. Warren, who is a reporter’s dream with his quotes and unwavering self-confidence, had said to me a few weeks ago that he planned on stopping by both UK and UL on a weekend in August on his way to Oak Hill for his Senior year of high school. This weekend may have very well been that trip, but due to his mother’s “no cell phone” policy after his “commitment” to Baylor, we cannot confirm if he was there. What is clear however is that Warren either has seen or will see UK in August…..if after that time they remain sixth on his list (which was his last update), Willie should likely go the way of Nate Knight in the fans’ eyes.
(3) One person who we believe WAS ON CAMPUS this weekend is Ralph Sampson III. The younger Ralph is the source of much speculation in the recruiting circles as some believe that he could become the first battle between UK and Tubby Smith’s new program at Minnesota. Sampson is unlikely to pick up an offer better than that of UK and that is why some (me included) speculate that he could end up committing to the Cats sooner rather than later. I have received a few questions on Sampson’s talent and this is the best way that I can respond. I saw him a number of times last year and was unimpressed…..but he has improved greatly and if he continues this upward trend, there is potential. He has very good hands and an ability to put the ball in the basket. He is blessed with good basketball IQ (must be in the genes) and is a methodical, deliberate player who generally does not make a lot of mistakes. However he is not overly athletic and can get overwhelmed by those with more talent. Many will see this as a put down (although I dont necessarily) but I see Sampson as a 7 foot version of Bobby Perry…..a kid that is great as your 6-8th best player, but cant be your 2-4th best player. With the relatively sparce number of quality big men left out there, getting Sampson may be important….but while he may be a contributor, he is not going to be his daddy.
(4) Finally, one of our Kentucky Sports Radio spies tells me that another big man was on campus this weekend but is not a readily identifiable player. Apparently this “mystery big man” (dont you love that phrase) was seen walking around with the coaches a couple of times and is apparently well-built (yes I did make fun of the guy who told me that.) The individual who gave me this info is fairly well versed in high school recruiting, so his inability to place the kid suggests to me that it was likely a JUCO player. More if we hear it.
Look for more football coverage throughout Monday as we continue our looks at practice going forward. There is a lot to come this week as we continue to march towards the new season. Hang with us in the next couple of weeks, but be ready. Things are about to get exciting as UK embarks on what I believe will be the best football/basketball combo of excitement in my lifetime……