One of the hardest parts of moving to a new place is the first few days without Internet or cable. I’m caught in that dreaded period for the time being and that is why I’m proud to announce that your Wednesday News and Views are being brought to you from the second parking spot to the left of the Red Box machine at a McDonald’s in Louisville. I can’t say it’s the ideal place to call an office, but like Forrest Gump’s mama said, “You have to do the best with what God gave you.” And in this case, God gave us Ray Kroc, who gave us McDonald’s, the place that is unknowingly letting me access its Free Wi-Fi. But don’t worry, I bought a large sweet tea and I might get back in line if this McNuggets poster keeps staring at me. Otherwise, I’d be stealing right now and we don’t condone that.
Are you hungry? Good. How about some News and Views?
— Tuesday was pretty heavy on the recruiting news and we’ll start our review with an old 2012 name that has resurfaced. 4-star shooting guard Torian Graham decommitted from N.C. State on Monday and his recruitment is wide open again. Torian Graham’s guardian, Len Lilly, told the Courier-Journal that Kentucky is at the top of the list. Graham visited Lexington last year for the Vandy game and really liked what he saw. The No. 5 shooting guard in the 2012 class already has ties to Kentucky in Ryan Harrow, another NC State loss, and John Wall, who played at the same high school. How long ‘til Coach Cal jumps on him and what in the world is going on at NC State?
— Two five-star big men in the 2012 class trimmed their lists down on Tuesday. The first was Mitch McGary, the 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. McGary put Kentucky in his list of six, along with Duke, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, and Maryland. McGary kept quiet for most of the summer when he was busy breaking out on the AAU circuit, but he is opening back up to the media and he said this is likely his final six.
— The other big man making cuts to his list was Anthony Bennett. Bennett trimmed his list to ten schools and Kentucky advanced in the sweepstakes. UConn, Pitt, West Virginia, Florida, Missouri, Ohio State, Washington, UNLV and Oregon are also in consideration. Bennett is the third-ranked power forward right behind McGary and Baylor commit Isiah Austin, according to Rivals.com.
— Shabazz Muhammad will be on UCLA’s campus today with Kyle Anderson. If anyone is in the Los Angeles area and can sabotage the visit, please do. I’m looking at you, Josh Hopkins.
— One more piece of recruiting news before we move on. Andre Drummond will announce his decision to go to prep school or attend college, today. Following Drummond’s recruitment has been a roller coaster of a ride and we’ll all be happy to see what he decides. If he announces that he’ll attend college, we’ll still have another long ride of following his recruitment, but at least the first step of the process will be out of the way. UConn has long been the favorite for Drummond but you have to believe Coach Cal will get his nose in there if Andre decides to play college ball.
— On to our current basketball players, it appears Terrence Jones has been in the weight room. An ESPN.com Insider profile of Kentucky says Terrence Jones has bulked up to 250 pounds after playing at around 230 last season. So Jones has either been in the weight room or he’s taking advantage of Moe’s Monday this offseason. Calipari claims it’s the weight room. “He’s finally getting after the weights like he should,” Calipari said. Kentucky will need as much muscle as it can get down low and a lot of that will have to come from Terrence Jones. He loves the perimeter game, but it’s time for him to get down there and show that he can bang with the big men, too.
— Coach Cal just tweeted that over 120 media requests were submitted for the UK Legends game in Lexington. I’d like to know how many of those were just UK fans applying through fictional websites like Paducah Steve’s Dominican Republic Sports Blog.
— The University of Louisville has approved the terms of a contract extension for Rick Pitino that’ll keep him on the Cardinals’ sideline through 2017. “I want to keep him here as long as possible, that’s my goal,” Jurich said. Pitino’s base salary will jump to $3.9 million after the 2013 season and it’ll include performance-based incentives on and off the court. I have yet to look into the incentives, but I believe it’ll include rewards for Ricky P if he manages to escape the first round of the NCAA tournament and not knock up any skanks in any local Italian eateries. Again, that is pure speculation on my part, and may not be the case, but if I were writing his contract extension, that would be priority one and two. I’d also include a condition prohibiting Pitino from recruiting any high school players who John Calipari has expressed interest in. Ya know, to save Pitino and the program the embarrassment.
— Don’t forget to make your final vote for the KSTV Casting Call. You have until Friday at midnight to pick one of the five finalists. Do it now.
— Look out, 15th Region basketball fans, there is a new sheriff in town. Former Kentucky walk-on Preston LeMaster was introduced as the head coach at East Ridge High School in Pike County earlier this week. East Ridge finished at 16-9 last season and they’ll look to improve under LeMaster’s “12 points over Ole Miss” offense that focuses mainly on outside shooting. It has been eight years since the Warrior’s first and only Region Championship and LeMaster says he is looking to win more.
— Let’s go outside the box for two notes from the world of hip-hop music.
– On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s highly anticipated collaboration album Watch The Throne, Jay-Z raps about his $50,000 fine for visiting the Kentucky locker room after the North Carolina game. This is a family oriented website so I won’t share the lyrics with you, but just know that Jay-Z balls so hard certain individuals want to fine him. Also, he wants someone to remind him what 50 grand is to a gentlemen like him. Fecal matter don’t phase him.
– Lil Romeo, the son of Master P, has a new girlfriend. I can’t believe I just typed that. No one cares. But I guess we all approve?
That’s all for now. Sorry about the Lil Romeo bit, I was really reaching for material. Thanks for tuning in and don’t forget to check out Matt Jones on Kentucky Sports Radio radio at 10:00 AM on Talk Radio 1080. I’m going back to my pitch black apartment to trip over boxes now.