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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Freedom Friday’s News and Views

This might not be so bad if The Hoff’s record label is any indication of things to come…

Good morning, my KSR brothers and sisters, and welcome to a special edition of today’s Friday News and Views.  We won’t be celebrating the birth of anyone in particular, choosing instead to mark the end of an era:  the Beisner bachelor life days.  As we’ve noted the past few months, my life has been changing pretty rapidly.  I’ve bored you with a few engagement and pregnancy tweets and a lengthy story about my fiancee’s son wiping his tail pipe with my best rag.  But, throughout all of this, Major General Beisner has maintained seperate living quarters.  However, on Saturday, August 1st, my life of drinking out of the milk carton, eating at Checkers five days a week and crushing my old fraternity brothers in NBA Live online will most likely cease to exist, as I will be moving in with the future Mrs. Beisner.  Of course, it probably means I won’t have to spray my body down with Febreze every morning before work anymore either.  Overall, this is probably an upgrade, but it won’t stop me from treating today as a holiday of sorts, or a “Freedom Friday” as I am calling it, and will celebrating by doing lots of…..umm….probably nothing special.  I’ll probably just listen to The Cure and stare into the distance at my desk all day.  I just wanted you guys to think I was cool.  Oh well.

Ok, onto some UK news…and, since we’re saying goodbye to an era from the past, we’ll even throw in a few links to what was happening this time last year.  I learned “theming” from Fake Gimel.

 (1) There was a little bit of scuttlebutt late Thursday night surrounding the basketball team as rumors started circulating that a number of walk-ons were dismissed from the team.  Adam Delph posted on his Facebook page that he was done and Matt said he has heard there might be only one walk-on back on the team, but it cannot be confirmed yet.  We’ll keep you updated as more info comes out.  This time last year, though, it was just as tough for walk-ons as Mark Coury was departing.

 (2) The most discussed news of the day was that four-star safety Isaiah Lewis, fresh off of his visit to UK, gave his verbal commitment to Michigan State.  That news, along with the word that four-star corner Darius Robinson, who UK had also been after, committing to Clemson, made Cats fans cue up their Jerry Seinfeld voices and ask “What’s the deal with UK’s football recruiting?”.  While this topic could be tackled more eloquently and more in depth by The Gidel, it’s safe to say that UK fans are getting a little antsy about having only two commitments (one being a kicker) and some are starting to question whether or not they are losing some of the buzz they’ve built the past few seasons.  I think it’s tough to say at this point if the lack of verbals or action on the recruiting trail is anyway related to Rich Brooks saying that he wasn’t sure how long he’d be around.  The story has been the same for awhile now and recruits have not been turned off by Joker Phillips (most LOVE everything about him) and Joker, Randy Sanders, Larry Brinson, etc. generally all make a very strong impression with recruits.  I think the real culprit here is this new strategy we’ve been hearing so much about – and it might not even be time to call it flawed just yet.  If the staff is truly targeting mostly top-tiered players, then July is generally too early to expect any commitments.  The general football rule is the higher the ranking, the longer the recruitment.  So, as frustrating as it is, it might not be time to hit the panic button yet.  But, if a few more targets start dropping throughout August, there might be cause for concern.  However, UK fans are certainly justified to be anxious because at this time last year, the Cats had 13 commitments already, although they didn’t receive verbals from Morgan Newton or Ryan Mossakowski (thanks to this interview) until August.

 (3) Another big story that might not even have any UK ties whatsoever was the word out of Orlando that Austin Rivers would be visiting other schools, despite not backing out of his commitment to Florida.  Rivers is ranked at or near the top of every single recruiting ranking for 2011 and, after watching him play in Orlando, there is no doubt that he’s a star and a perfect fit for Billy Donovan’s offense.  However, as intriguing as the news of visits is, I think the part of the story that is most interesting involves the two teams he said he’ll likely visit – Duke and North Carolina.  As we’ve heard so much about this summer – especially after Josh Selby’s de-commitment – there is an unwritten code of conduct in college basketball that committed recruits are generally left alone by opposing coaches.  I think it’s interesting that the two teams that Rivers plans to visit (and that you’d have to assume are still actively recruiting him) are the so-called “good guys” of the NCAA.  We’re constantly hearing about how Coach K and Roy Williams are “doing things the right way”.  I wonder if Coach K would consider having Wojo at every single one of Rivers’ games in Orlando and welcoming him for a visit as “the right way”.  I’d consider it “the hypocritical way”.  But, keeping with the theme, at this time last year, another top point guard had our attention as we were all wondering if John Wall was going to end up as a Baylor Bear.

 (4) I am an iTunes junkie.  Today, I purchased the entire Cracked Rear View album by Hootie and the Blowfish.  I’m not embarrassed about that.  I feel like it’s 1995 again and that’s a very beautiful thing.

(5)  On a bit of a more somber note, I’m going to take a little space for some (more) personal stuff.  A very good friend of mine and my former roommate at UK will be heading  out on a 180 mile bike ride later this month to raise money for cancer.  His father was diagnosed with a rare form of prostate cancer and given only two years to live – seven years ago.  He’s battled like crazy and, sadly, has been moved to hospice this week as his conditioned has worsened.  Unfortunately, cancer has touched most of us in some form or fashion and, as someone who has had a parent battle the disease, anytime you hear of someone struggling with the same situation, especially someone so close, it really hits home.  Please don’t feel obligated to do so because I know so many of us have our own financial stuggles, but any donation would be welcomed and appreciated by Matt and his family.  Also, as a side note, look for something related to this subject coming from KSR in the next month or so.  I’m very excited about something special we’re working on.

That’s it for now.  Sorry to end on such a bummer note.  Stay tuned throughout the day as we continue to bring you all the UK goodness in a ridiculous manner and keep you abreast of all that’s good in the sporting world.

See you in a few….

Article written by Thomas Beisner