I try to keep my politics off of this blog (Turkey Hunter glazes over when I start talking about the subject and you will get enough of it when I run for governor one day), but I do have to give a nod to my man Harold Ford. I have always been a huge fan of the guy and I am happy to see that he has made the Tennessee Senate race competitive. Harold is a politician that is an actual human being and I loved seeing him respond to the GOP attacks at his attendance at a Super Bowl Playboy Party by saying, “what can I say, I like football and I like girls.” That is a platform we can all get behind! Even though I dont think he will, I hope he wins as he is someone for which I have real respect.
Enough politics! Well today I spent the afternoon freezing on the Links, playing in a golf tournament and doing my best to have a much needed day of relaxation. The round was ok (85 at Griffin Gate, whatcha gonna do), but the weather was cold and now I am sick again. But we at Kentucky Sports Radio don’t die, we multiply, so we are back in action tonight. Lots of stuff going on today, but most of the talk has been about our radio show and EPISODE 11. Lots of folks have commented to me about the show and seemed to appreciate it and for that we are glad. The amount of downloads of the show at this point is truly overwhelming. There was a time in the not so distant past when this show was being heard by enough people that I could personally thank them. Now I think we can make the claim that this show is the most listened to sports radio show in the state behind the various UK and UL coaches’ shows. And that is only because of the fans. If you havent commented yet on the show and have thoughts, email me at [email protected] or comment in the thread below. Would love to hear what you have to say.
Now onto the news and views….
(1) The recruiting news is relatively slim today. Heck I even thought about leading with the story of Ty Proffit of South Laurel going to Notre Dame (a nice decision by the kid and I wish any mountain player a lot of success), but there are some developments in the fun that is the Jai Lucas recruitment. Lucas told Rivals.com that he is now growing weary of the recruiting process and that he is considering just ending the visits after his trip to Maryland. This does not come as a total surprise to me as the Sooners have always been a backburner option and his interest in the school has always been based more on his fondness for Jeff Capel than anything else. What does this mean? Well it could mean that a decision is coming soon. Lucas says that he, Anderson and Patterson all want to get the process done soon and that it could end quickly for all.
You have to feel for these guys somewhat as they must just get completely worn out with all the attention, calls, etc that they get on a nightly basis. I have sensed that Lucas is ready for this to end and get back to his normal life. At this point, Kentucky has literally done all that it can and just must wait and see if its efforts will be rewarded. Every single sign points to Jai at UK (as opposed to the mixed signals one gets on Patterson). If he goes elsewhere, I will be very surprised…..not floored, but surprised. We shall see.
(2) The Scotty Hopson fall out continues today. I spoke this evening with another person who is close to Scotty and was shocked by the quickness of the decision. Stansbury has been on Hopson for a long time and was the first to offer, but even Scotty’s coaches thought that this recruitment was going to go until the summer. However ominous words by Scotty’s UHA coach apparently existed last week when he told the Hopkinsville newspaper that UK might lose Scotty if they didnt move fast. Well lose him they did, and the animosity from some in the Hoptown community to UK continues.
Does it matter? Well yeah probably a bit. Hopson has the POTENTIAL to be a great player. He is ranked very highly at a time that a lot of kids are just being discovered by the recruiting “experts” however and thus his ranking may very well fluctuate. As an athlete Scotty is a star. As a player, he has work to do. Often the desire to impress college coaches and rise in the rankings makes players at Scotty’s age into the stars they become. Now all that pressure is off. How will Scotty respond? We shall see…..
(3) So the 08 focus is now squarely on Darius Miller. I am told from someone close to the UK staff that the Hopson decision surprised them. Everyone involved understand the perception issue with Miller (including the Lofton ramifications) and I think everyone wants to see this work out. I expect to see the recruitment of Darius step up in the next few weeks. It is important to note that the next couple of weeks of 07 recruiting will have a strong effect on Miller and other 08 targets. IF UK gets Stewart, Moses and possibly Anderson, playing time for some of these guys may become an issue. Either way, the courtship of Miller has become more important and all parties will see the pressure ramped up soon.
(4) Some of you may have seen this article today by Gregg Doyel, friend of Kentucky Sports Radio, about the 2007 SEC Coach of the Year early candidate, Scott Holsopple (the most famous strength coach in the land). The article of course contains tons of Doyle-isms, which include shots at UK, Patrick Sparks and others. But it is dead on and may be the first national column dealing with what may be the most important change in the UK team next season (wonder where he ever could have gotten the idea…. 😉 Folks love to rant about Doyel, which is of course what he wants, but Gregg is a smart guy and contrary to what folks think, he doesnt hate UK. He writes about UK a lot because he knows that Kentucky fans care and will read his column (as opposed to other teams) and if you read his stuff, you will see that he is vicious to all. It isnt my job to defend Gregg, but I like the guy and he has been good to us, coming on the show (along with Jay Bilas) when no one else would. So read the article and when he is our guest on ESPN Radio, you can call and rip him…..he will enjoy it as much as you.
(5) You know sometimes some of the most fun things in this business are when you are being roundly criticized. I dont mean that I like criticism, the neurosis in me always dwells on it, but sometimes it is fun to watch people get worked up. Such a thing happened the last few days as the Duke premium Scout site has gotten up in arms about our harmless little blog. As we discussed on the show, they were frustrated about something I wrote on here in a thread comparing UK, Duke and Florida and proceeded to rip me. I defended myself and they all came after me and I decided to stop banging my head against the wall (or if you believe them, I was “defeated”). I talked about it a bit on the show and that was that. But the Dukies like to keep going. Someone took the time to not only listen to our show, but TRANSCRIBE THE SEGMENTS ABOUT DUKE, and put them on the site. They now are up in arms about my comments to Decourcey on Duke scheduling and have been ranting about it all day. Here is a little secret to my Duke friends….learn the lesson Fox News learned when they went after Al Franken…..if you dont like something, ignore it. Getting worked up about it only gives it validity. That is a good lesson for all of us. In other news, I am going to see if one of them will come on our show on Sunday for a “debate”. I think it will be fun and good radio.
Finally, one last thing. On this site from here until at least the beginning of SEC season, the Tubby debates are over. Our comments section is a great community with a lot of hilarious posters. Universally all of them have recognized what I have recognized and have asked me to stop the continued degradation of all threads into Tubby debates. From now on, if the topic is not EXPLICITLY ABOUT TUBBY AND HIS JOB PERFORMANCE (which one may one day be), then the degradation of the thread into fire Tubby sentiment will be erased immediately. IF you want to debate the merits of Tubby, go elsewhere. We are here to have get information and have fun with UK basketball. Tubby debates are not fun.
Ok now listen to EPISODE 11. And with that, time to go get the pine tar off my hand….