Today’s birthday honoree comes from a band that has become easy to scorn, but that I will proudly say that I do like, Hootie and the Blowfish. Darius Rucker is the lead singer of the Flying Hooties and for a short time in the 1990s, Hootie and the Blowfish were the biggest thing in music. Their debut album “Cracked Rearview” was at one time the highest selling debut album of all time (surpassed later by Alanis Morisette) and there was a two-year period where they found themselves on every talk show/media outlet in America. Over time, their popularity faded as they were deemed too dorky to be cool and they found themselves living out their career by playing to college crowds, spending their obscene amounts of money and playing golf…..not a bad lifestyle. While many are no longer fans, I still own all of Hootie’s albums and challenge anyone to say that they didnt at one time either like “Hold My Hand”, “Time”, “Only Wanna Be With You”, or “Let Her Cry.” Darius is 41 today and somewhere is likely hitting a golf course as we speak.
To the news…..
(1): The recruiting news continues to come fast and furious, this time from the world of offers to the young guys as Billy Clyde has now offered Jeremiah Davis, yet another Freshman in high school and yet another member of the Indiana Elite AAU team. Joining Vinny Zollo and Michael Avery (who has played one tournament with them), Davis is a guard who can get to the basket and who has real potential down the line. Whereas the reviews I have heard from non-UK folks have been decidedly mixed on Avery and Zollo, Davis is a guy who has a much more consistent positive set of reviews. What has become obvious in recent weeks is that no matter what else you may say about the AAU season, you need to see Indiana Elite play….at any given point, one of their players may commit to Kentucky.
(2): As far as the short term, no commitment may be more important than the one that Billy Gillispie is trying to secure from Derrick Jasper. In the short term, there is no one of more influence, with the exception of Patrick Patterson, to the health of the UK basketball program than Derrick. He is the only proven point guard on the roster next year (although hopes are high for Galloway) and as Gillispie made clear today, Kentucky needs him a great deal next season. Andy Katz reported today that Gillispie is going to California this week to make one last ditch effort to get Derrick to come back. From my perspective, if Gillispie can pull that commitment, it will be the most important one of the summer…..well along with Dominique Ferguson.
(3): Some chatter today about a possible transfer into the program coming over the next couple of weeks. I was told a few days ago that the Cats were looking at a “mid-major transfer” and that it could happen fairly soon. Gillispie told Andy Katz that the acceptance of a transfer would be a possibility and Marc Maggard has been hinting in his not so subtle way that it will be a kid from UAB with the last name of Mayfield. Whatever is the case, a transfer would be for the 2009 season and could be the use of a scholarship this year if there is not a 2008 player that the staff wants to add to the roster. Whoever the transfer is, the individual could be a potential contributor in the future. However I dont look for a star to come and it is time for folks to give up on the pipe dream of Jordan Crawford heading this way.
(4): Joe Crawford was invited to the NBA Pre-Draft Camp in Orlando and will be going after his NBA dream there. It is still not certain whether Ramel Bradley will be at the camp as well.
One last note. As we have talked about here over the last month, we have been doing the Barnstorming Tour and spending a lot of time on those events. When I decided to do the tour, I made the decision that “inside” information I found out about UK-related stuff that came from the tour or being around the players would not become part of the stuff I put on this blog. Thus there have been quite a few stories, recruiting and otherwise, that I havent been able to comment on for the past few weeks for those reasons. Many of you have emailed, some with frustration, as to why I have “ignored” various stories. I am not ignoring them, I just havent been able to comment on them until after the tour is over. After it is over, some of that info will come out in my journal entries that we post. But I dont want folks to think that we dont think that a particular story is not important simply because we dont go into it. There are just tidbits of info that I cant share out of respect to the circumstances that have allowed me to find out about them.
And with that long note, we move on. Tomorrow, we will have more on Dominique Ferguson and other good stuff…..