Good morning, my beautiful KSR family, and welcome to a fine Friday morning and the end of what has likely been a torturous work week for anyone not named Drew Franklin. This post is making a very late appearance and, for that, I apologize and give you my solemn promise that we’ll make quick work of this. It was a bit of a wild ride late on Thursday as the Twitter world was set on fire with the #wrongonpurpose trending topic. I’ll spare you all of the details of those who were involed (I’m sure you can guess) and just make you aware of the fact that it was actually a very timely topic. It seems that May 14 is actually full of #wrongonpurpose moments. Take a look…
1264: King Henry III, tired of the burden of ruling, was intentionally captured in the Battle of Lewes #wrongonpurpose
1607: After being hit with another paternity suit, John Smith tells the courts he’s going for an afternoon sail and then arrives in America and helps establish Jamestown #wrongonpurpose
1878: Fearing that Tom Cruise would later play him on film, Okubo Toshimichi willingly goes on a walk with Seta Sojiro, an associate of a rival, and is assassinated #wrongonpurpose
1943: In an effort to makes sure what happens on an Australian Hospital Ship stays on an Australian Hospital Ship, the captain of the Centaur intentionally broke an international agreement and entered Japanese waters and was sunk #wrongonpurpose
2004: The Constitutional Court of South Korea overturns the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun. Legislature shrugs and says, “Ah, hell, we were #wrongonpurpose”
Now, onto some quick UK notes so I can finally get to bed…
– In the real news department, Friday could be the start of a new beginning at UK as former Florida Gator Eloy Vargas will take his visit and, presumably, receive an offer from Coach Cal and his staff. Many people believe that Vargas will likely end up as a Wildcat before you head back to the office on Monday, but Friday will be the day that the cards are put on the table. Though Vargas is not quite the sexy pickup that Terrence Jones could and possibly still will be, adding Vargas will provide a bit of breathing room for a frontcourt that thinned out faster than Manu Ginobili’s hair. And, for a team that is desperately seeking some size, it appears to be one heck of a surprise blessing.
– Get ready. Here it comes. With the Cleveland Cavaliers bowing out of the playoffs against the Celtics on Thursday night, the second-most talked about story is about to be the chances that Coach Cal leaves to coach LeBron James next season. As the media starts revving up their stories of where LeBron might end up next season, you can expect the rumors of Coach Cal heading to the Cavs in an attempt to coax him into staying to be saddled up next to them in the side car, wearing goggles and one of those hats with ear flaps. Our faux-hawked friend over at CBS, Gary Parrish, says that he does not believe that Calipari would reject an offer to coach LeBron next year, but, as far as I know, he does not possess the coveted “absolute knowledge”, which makes his opinion irrelevant. And, besides, Mitch Barnhart also said on Thursday that he expects Cal to be coaching the Cats next year, though it should be noted that he might not be telling you the truth in the interest of protecting the program. Because, you know, that’s actually his job to do so. Regardless, you can expect the stories to get hot and heavy in the coming weeks. UPDATE: Here is a Parrish blog entry.
– The early-breaking news on the UK beat was Cal’s announcement that Rod Strickland had been re-assigned to an administrative position within the basketball office. The official statement from the school stated that Strickland had asked for a new position to reduce his traveling (should Perry Stevenson have tried that?), but the obvious assumptions were that this was related to his DUI arrest last month or that Calipari was hoping to make room for a more experienced assistant, most likely Kenny Payne of Oregon. Should Payne, who is due his $325k salary even if he is not retained by Dana Altman and denied any interest in the job very quickly on Thursday, decide to take the job, the reasoning behind this move will become crystal clear.
– Speaking of Kenny Payne, when he became more of a legitimate option with the dismissal of Strickland, the possibility of Terrence Jones heading to UK got a breath of new life. Payne is widely believed to be the biggest reason for the interest that Jones had for considering the Ducks and, should he head to UK, the chances of Jones doing the same greatly increase. It likely goes without saying, but if the Cats are able to get commitments from Vargas and Jones, the frontcourt suddenly goes from nearly non-existent to possibly the best in the SEC.
– Over at FoxSports.com, Jeff Goodman has invited some guest bloggers to fill some of his space and the first in the series provided a bit of feel-good for UK fans. Austin Rivers mentioned UK as one of the four schools he’ll likely consider for the next step in his academic career. I’ve mentioned this probably 100 times (and linked this just as many, sorry I love me some me), but I had the chance to watch him last summer in Orlando and I was nothing short of flat-out impressed with him. He plays smart, has great mechanics on his shot and took charge of a team that was missing an injured Brandon Knight. Though he remains committed to Florida, it’s a Tiger Woods-like commitment and he plans to visit both Duke and UNC. He was an AAU teammate of both Knight and Eloy Vargas, so that might play into UK’s favor. Despite the possibility that he could end up as a Gator, Blue Devil or Tar Heel, I’ll go on record and say I’m a huge Austin Rivers fan.
– In what had to be underwhelming news to the guys wearing the UK jerseys next year, Cal requested $300k for a team trip to Canada this fall. While it’s hard to imagine anything being worse than playing in the hotel ball room in Puerto Rico, I imagine the news of a possible trip to Canada being received like the news we got in high school when our new coach announced we were headed to London for a holiday tournament after spending the previous year in Florida. After the initial excitement of a better trip, we realized we were headed to Laurel County and not England and we all put on our fake smiles.
– I was made very aware over Twitter on Thursday that this is common knowledge for anyone who follows his tweets, but apparently Jodie Meeks is back on campus trying to finish up his degree. If I remember correctly, the former UK star was just one semester short of his diploma when he entered the draft early last year, so you could assume that he will be a nice little piece of a future APR rating by the end of the summer. Good for Jodie.
– In a bit of housekeeping news, make sure you all give a big welcome to James Pennington, who will be adding some of his special blend of goodness to KSR. Make sure you give him all of the heartfelt kindness that you gave all of us when we started writing on this site, which is a polite way of saying that you should feel free to send him insults to his Facebook and home email account too. Welcome, James. You’re family now.
That’s it for now. Please accept my sincere apologies for my tardiness and subpar effort. I promise that we’re going to get this ship back going the right way on Frank Gore’s special day as we keep you posted on all of the on-campus Vargasing and keep an eye toward the assistant coach’s position. Make sure you stick around. See you in a few…