So I went against my better judgment and watched the State of the Union Address this evening. I am always against watching the State of the Union Address because while mandated by the Constitution, the modern version of the speech is usually little more than a photo op and a publicity venture. But every time I watch, I cant help but be hooked. When it comes to the pomp and circumstance of such events, I am inevitably hooked and tonight was no different. I love the sight of all three branches of government in the same room, the ability to see the President, the Madame Speaker, the Supreme Court Justices (an added treat for law dorks like me…..Samuel Alito looks like he has had a makeover)….the whole thing. I am a sucker for such things, which is why some called me C-Span in high school. My favorite part, as always, is when the President honored those “special citizens” in the balcony. He did four, a woman who made the “Baby Einstein” series, the guy who saved the man on the subway in New York and a military man from Independence, Kentucky. The last two are especially impressive to me, as was the other honoree, Dikembe Mutombo. Mutombo is a truly exemplary citizen, using his wealth in America to aid his home country of the Congo and is one of the few athletes who takes the notion of charity seriously. I was happy to see him get his due, and wish he had given a finger wag for the occasion. (And for those who have never heard the “Who wants to _____ the Mutombo?” story, you need to find it out.
Now onto the news….
(1) Want to know the easiest way to get me upset? Ask me about Marshall Moses. In the grand scheme of UK recruitments, none may have ever been botched more throughly than for our man Marshall. Moses of course visited Oklahoma State this weekend….and you wanna know what they did, they took him to the Bedlam game at home in front of their amazing home crowd. And guess what? Now he says that it was “hard not to commit” and that he isnt even sure if he will take his NOW SCHEDULED (for the fourth time at least) visit to UK this weekend. Unbelievable. No kid could have been more UK than Marshall. However UK, for reasons I will never understand, continually scheduled and cancelled visits for Marshall to the university. Now depending on who you ask, the rationale was time-related or grade-related, but either way they didnt happen. Now they are having him here this weekend (if he shows up) and it may be too little too late.
Let me be clear about this. If UK is having Marshall in this weekend, thus admitting that his grades are good enough to bring him in and possibly take a commitment, then it is something bordering on malfeasance that he wasnt brought in two weeks ago. Bringing Moses in this weekend suggests they want him and he is ready to visit…..but by putting him off yet again, OK St struck first…..got a GREAT visit and now UK may be running behind a kid they have led with for two years. Had he come to UK two weeks ago, he likely commits on the spot. Now he was wowed in Stillwater and the Cats are (once again) playing catch up. It is pitiful and there is simply no excuse. If the Cats dont think he will be academically eligible, then he shouldnt be coming this weekend. If he comes, then he should have been here two weeks ago (or earlier). I will say it again….if we lose Moses to another school (he says he will decide in two weeks), AND HE PLAYS THERE NEXT YEAR (meaning he is eligible), it will be a recruiting blunder for the record books.
(2) Also taking in all that is good in Stillwater is Jai Lucas, who if you read the message boards and listen to ESPN, may be considering virtually every school in America at this point. Lucas had a GREAT set of games over the weekend and is likely to see his ranking rise at the end of the season (and is an outside contender for a McDonalds All American slot). The same four schools still are the main contenders for him (regardless of what you hear), and until he takes a visit elsewhere, the smart money is on him picking one of those schools. UK’s position is still good….but I know for a fact that how UK finishes this year and the emotion around the program after the season will play a HUGE part in his final decision.
(3) If you havent heard yet, it looks like MTV has picked Elizabethtown and Stephon Pettigrew as the subject of the basketball version of their show “Two a Days.” This is something to keep on the backburner…..if this helps make Pettigrew well-known (he told me on our radio show that the cameras follow him everywhere he goes), if he were to go to Kentucky, it would give some good publicity for the program. Young people watch MTV shows religiously and I bet the basketball one will be watched by young recruits…..just something to keep in mind.
Finally, the Georgia game is tonight. My prediction is later, but needless to say, it is extremely important. The Cats need a win to turn the momentum back and to get positive energy once again circulating. Big game and a chance to show off a big performance. We shall see…..