Before we get into the University of Kentucky news and blabber, a little word on a show that I have recommended on here before, but still has yet to develop an audience worthy of its quality. I have long said that the only good dramatic work on television right now is on HBO. I am a huge fan of “The Wire” and “The Sopranos” and I think most everything else on television pales in comparison. At times “The Shield” has been good…..I know people like “24” and I used to really enjoy “The West Wing,” but in general if its not on HBO its not worth watching. Well until “Friday Night Lights.” Normally when people make a movie out of a book, I think it is a bad idea. I loved the original Friday Night Lights book and was dismayed when a movie was made…..but then I saw it and it wasnt awful. But as bad an idea as a movie out of a book is, a television show out of a movie is death. Television shows out of movies are almost always putrid and with the exception of “MASH”, inevitably fall far below the original.
Well that is until “Friday Night Lights.” Almost 15 years after reading the book, I would have never dreamed I would say this, but the television version of the story is the best of the entire lot. Most probably have ignored the show because they think a “football” show cant be good or because it has gone up against “Dancing With the Stars”, but if so, you have missed the best network drama in a long time. FNL is likely the best reflection of small town life that I have seen Hollywood do in at least 25 years. Most who try to characterize what it is like to live and be raised in a small town tend to parody it or make it so simplistic as to be unbelievable. But FNL captures the beauty, pain, boredom, gossipy, family-oriented detail of what it means to be a part of communities that are ubiquitous in this country. The show is well acted, has great storylines and precise dialogue that actually mirrors how real people speak. If you havent watched it, you should have……and you are in luck. NBC is offering every episode of the show for free online. The season is 22 episodes long and NBC has just agreed to renew it, despite its poor ratings. Check it out…..in a world of television junk, it is the type of show that may not come along again.
And with that, to the news….
(1) Today we had DeAndre Jordan on our show and he gave a very interesting interview. I was struck with just how intelligent the kid is and how thoughtful he has been about his recruiting process. He said that he was planning on going to A&M this summer to enroll in school and that is his goal at this point. He didnt completely shut the door on asking out of his letter of intent, but suggested that he wanted to talk more with the coaching staff before making any decisions. Bottom line…..I dont think Jordan is exactly sure what he will do, but I think it is a very long, long shot for UK to get him at this point. Coach Clyde does not want to upset the Aggie fans, Jordan has love for the A&M program and other schools are also interested if he decides to leave. I wouldnt get my hopes up folks but be sure and listen to the interview.
(2) Rob reported earlier today that Stephon Pettigrew would be undertaking something similar to a tryout at UK either Sunday or early next week by playing a pickup game with the UK team. Coaches will not be able to watch such a game, but when Preston Knowles visited and had such a performance, UL offered him a scholarship. I would love to be a fly on the wall to watch the Pettigrew game and see him bring it against the current UK players…..awww for the days that you could go to Memorial and watch…..new practice facility, no viewing.
(3) Coach Clyde has a press conference set for in the morning in which it is suspected that he may announce his assistant coaches for the program. We already know Coach Cox and many expect Alvin Brooks, but tomorrow may be the final date for that decision. I will be interested to see if he goes outside his Aggie family to find a coach on the staff with some Kentucky connections. Might be an interesting strategy, although I have always been of the view that such decisions are up to the coach. In a similar context, I take the view that much of the debate of the decision to “reassign” the coach’s secretary is understandable as well. People should have people working under and with them that they trust and want to have. If that means outsiders unfortunately, so be it.
(4) The news today about Mickie Demoss leaving was unsuspected and surprising. I had heard not even a whiff of this possibility and Demoss was a big part of the press conference for Coach Clyde just last week. The players seemed genuinely devastated and it is clear this is a step back for the program. But you just have to wonder how something like this happens. Demoss is still young for a coach and has done so well…..if we take at face value her comment that she just wants to try a new direction for her life, I salute her. You are never too young to try new things…..but the whole scenario is odd to me and I wonder if we will learn more going forward.
(5) The Derby Classic is coming Saturday and all UK fans should be thinking about making a trip to the River City for the affair. You will see first hand the AJ Stewart and Mike Williams combo that, at this point, is the only combo to join UK next season. Stephon Pettigrew will be on-hand to have a second audition for the UK fans and, just for fun, DeAndre Jordan has made the trip. Plus you have Michael Beasley, only the best player in the country in my view. We will be there covering the affair and it is a worthwhile event for all UK fans.
Tomorrow we have Willie Warren coming on our show during the 5 o clock hour. Keep it locked here for news throughout the day and evening. And if you havent heard them yet, check out the GJ Vilarino interview and the WOO interview, which should be must listening for any UK fan…..