Today is the birthday of one of the truly bizarre famous people in American pop culture, Foster Brooks. Brooks, a native Kentuckian (go Cats) became initially known on the American scene for his work in Westerns, as he played a variety of characters in the early days of those good vs evil flicks. But ask the average person today about Foster Brooks as they likely remember him as the loveable “lush” from the Vegas, Dean Martin-type acts where Brooks would come on stage and play drunk to an audience that would eat up his every word. Brooks was a fixture of the roast circuit and often found himself on shows such as “Match Game” utilizing his “drunk” routine for comedy gold. What was actually ironic is that Brooks himself never drank and his routine developed by accident. When I heard that anecdote, I always found it interesting. Most of America assumed this man was simply a drunken idiot and spent their time mocking him. Yet as it turned out, he was actually a sophisticated actor who had a legitimate career before his “Otis” stage in his later years. But we probably shouldnt feel too bad for him…..the drunken goofball gimmick made him a lot of money…..and he didnt have to worry about blowing it on alcohol.
To the news….
(1) There is a certain “calm before the storm” feeling to UK news at this point. We have a big weekend coming with the (supposed) visit of Michael Sanchez and the announcements next week of the big two duo. Today we did talk on the radio show with the coach of Beaz Hamga, who told us that the big man would be coming to UK “sometime in the next few days.” In the interview, we learned that Hamga has “great defensive instincts” and “seems to hate the ball” while on defense, seeking to punish it for its mere existence. Hamga has already visited UNLV and Indiana, knows the crew at New Mexico, and thus may be ready to make a decision very soon after his visit to Kentucky. He said that Beaz is excited about Kentucky and that they like everything they have seen about Coach Billy Clyde and the staff so far. The Hamga recruitment will be a short process, but it is worth keep an eye on when he visits Kentucky….because the saga may be over soon after that event happens.
(2) Rivals.com reported today that all-world 2008 point guard Brandon Jennings has narrowed his list to four schools, and Kentucky is one of them (along with Arizona, UCONN and Kansas). Conventional wisdom suggests that UK has ground to make up on this race, but UK simply being in it is quite amazing. I cant overestimate just how good I think this kid is. We are two weeks from my attendance at the Bob Gibbons tournament in the Triangle and it was at that tournament last year, when I realized what a talent Brandon Jennings is. On a team that also had Kevin Love and Taylor King, Brandon Jennings was the eye-popping talent, showing point guard skills you just dont see in high school. Jennings is the kind of high school talent UK has not had in a long, long time. The Cats need to convince Jennings to come on campus and take a visit. He is worth going all out for, especially now that the Cats are truly in the picture for his services.
(3) A radio report on the Drew Deener show tonight suggested that Chris Singleton will be one of the players that will be part of the UK “Elite” Camp this summer. Singleton’s interest in UK seems to be rising as he was apparently recently quoted as saying that he was as intrigued by UK as any school on his list. Singleton is a power forward that would be a great get for UK…..the assumption is that Tennessee leads…..if Singleton comes to the elite camp, that assumption may change.
(4) I cant go too long on the last “News and Views” before the weekend without addressing Jai Lucas and his final weekend of freedom. We will follow the story for the weekend, but my guess is that I personally will know nothing until possibly Sunday night…..if even then. There is a chance that we will have some early info on Sunday night, but maybe not. As for now, this is the time to sit back and simply wait. Jai goes first and then Patrick on Wednesday, with the Sports Mob getting the announcement LIVE via Cell Phone (it will be souped up greatness) on the show. The sight of microphones from all major Kentucky stations and Rob’s cell phone at the press conference….well it will be priceless.
(5) Reggie Hanson got an assistant coach job at South Florida for next season. I have been very critical of Reggie over the years for his job performance at UK, but I am glad to see him land on his feet. Hopefully a change of scenery with Stan Heath will do him well.
Watch the site for news as the day goes on…..otherwise, the Mob is back at three tomorrow…..