“Who is Dave Brubeck?”
Odds are most of you asked that question when you saw this post. Brubeck was one of the world’s most famous jazz musicians, who revolutionized the genre with his exotic and challenging rhythms. A composer and pianist, Brubeck was most famous for his “Take 5” recording, which you can listen to below:
Brubeck passed away on Wednesday one day shy of his 92nd birthday. I’m not a jazz aficionado, but in today’s world of synth and auto-tune, I can certainly appreciate true musical talent, and Brubeck had it. Keep tappin’ those ivory keys up there for us, Dave. Say hi to Bill Keightly while you’re at it.
News and Views?
— It was a rather slow day in the UK news world, as we recapped the Cats’ Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde win over Samford. While they got the win, it was clear that the Cats still have a long ways to go, especially with conditioning. Not for long. “Camp Cal” starts at 7 a.m. Thursday morning, and instead of making lanyards or nature journals, the players will run, lift, and generally be Rock Oliver’s b—- for thirty minutes. Cal said that by the end of it (three weeks), the Cats will be the most in-shape team in the country. “Strap ‘em up, boys.”
— Hopefully the Cats can form a bond and maybe even establish a leader during Camp Cal. After the Samford game, Willie Cauley-Stein acknowledged the team’s struggles, citing the players’ pressure to live up to last year’s squad and current insecurities. Willie confirmed that our eyes haven’t been deceiving us: they guys aren’t having any fun out there. He referenced past Kentucky teams and how all had smiles on their faces during games, “got hyped” after dunks, and seemed to play as one unit. This team? Not so much. Although they haven’t established team chemistry yet, Samford coach Bennie Seltzer’s comments that they were the worst Kentucky team he’s seen still stung:
“It’s like a slap in the face, because we’re putting in work. People don’t think we’re putting in the work, but we are putting in the work. We are going to battle every day in practice. We’ve just got to come together as a team and figure out as a team. Our coaches can’t help us anymore. They’ve taught us everything we need to know. Now we’ve got to take it in our own hands and (carry) it over (to) the court.”
I just hope that one day in March or April, there’s a cheesy CBS segment that references this as the turning point for this squad.
— It hasn’t been a great week for the Cats when it comes to accolades, but one Cat did make CBS Sports’ “Freshman of the Year” watch: Archie Goodwin, who came in at #3.
It wasn’t a great week for Goodwin or Kentucky; the Wildcats dropped back-to-back games. Goodwin averaged 10 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists in the two games — but his shot was off in both games and he struggled to take care of the ball against Baylor. It remains to be seen if Ryan Harrow will move Goodwin off the ball, where he’s more comfortable.
— If you’ve been waiting to pop the bubbly for the DJ Eliot announcement, keep it on ice just a little longer. Both Bud Dupree and Jimbo Fisher spread the news that Eliot was joining Stoops’ staff as defensive coordinator on Wednesday, but the earliest the University can announce it is Thursday.
— Speaking of, this celebratory box of Burke’s doughnuts I got for Neal Brown is getting stale. The rumors from earlier this week calling Brown joining the staff a “done deal” were obviously false, as the
Danville Bardstown Kentucky native now seems to be entertaining other options. Brown will interview with Southern Miss for their head coaching job later this week and is also being considered by UTEP for its head coaching vacancy. We’ll leave the light on for ya…
— One thing we know for certain in that Rock Oliver isn’t going anywhere. Tony Neely told CatsIllustrated on Wednesday that Rock will remain with the University, but that the sports he will work with have yet to be determined. No, that doesn’t mean that you’re getting out of Camp Cal, Sam Malone.
— Andrew Wiggins spent Wednesday in Tallahassee on his official visit at Florida State. The night before, it looks as thought he was entertained by some Florida State coeds, one who tweeted Wiggins “If my girls and I didn’t convince you to come to FSU last night I don’t know what would!” Umm…an undefeated season, a National Championship, and being the #1 pick in the NBA draft? Oh, and Keeneland.
— Our pals up I-64 had anything but a slow day. The Charlie Strong saga may have come to an end on Wednesday, with Strong reportedly turning down Tennessee to stay with the Cards. Strong’s decision came at the end of a long day of speculation, which included Tennessee AD Dave Hart flying to Louisville, Strong appearing briefly at a players meeting with reporters outside, and a rumored press conference about his future on Thursday morning.
Wednesday night, it became clear that Strong thought about Tennessee’s offer Wednesday evening and decided to turn it down. The Vols reportedly offered him a ridiculous sum of money, but Strong felt his connection to Louisville (and his lucrative new contract) were too much to walk away from. The contract, which will be finalized as early as Thursday morning, will make Charlie one of the highest paid coaches in the ACC and keep him at Louisville for years to come (or a more attractive suitor comes along).
— The bright side of all this is just how desperate Tennessee has become. How long before they go after Petrino?
— Finally, during the Samford live blog, I shared my favorite, albeit embarrassing, Christmas song with you guys (live blog secret!). Well, it now has some competition with this version of “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey, The Roots, Jimmy Fallon, and some cute kids: