As I write this, approximately 700 billion people wearing capes and funny glasses are wrist-deep in a bucket of popcorn while watching Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part 2. The eighth and final installment of the Harry Potter series was released at midnight in what will easily be a record-breaking debut at the box offices. As someone over the age of 12, I won’t pretend to know what’s going on, nor will I make fun of those who waited in line for the premiere and were old enough to drive themselves there. With those two rules in place, I have nothing else to say about Harry Potter. Looking back, I should’ve made this the U.S. Women’s National Team’s Friday News and Views. I guess we’ll save that one for Monday after they beat Japan. #leggoo
When I say news, you say views! News! ______ News! ______
— Thursday’s news highlight came in the form of fashion as we found out UK will wear two special edition basketball jerseys this upcoming season. The first of the new jerseys is a “throwback” (as the kids say) and it will come with special edition warmups as well. The jersey will be gray with metallic lettering and the warmups will feature the years of Kentucky’s national championships. The throwback look is expected to be a one time occurrence. The other new unis will be Nike special edition threads similar to what Nike did with Boise State and Virginia Tech in football. These jerseys will be worn a couple of times throughout the season and they’ll probably look ridiculously awesome. Nike will make a ridiculous profit from these new looks, too.
— With the uniforms in place, it’s time to move on to the important part of the game: the schedule. UK released the complete 15 game non-conference schedule Thursday afternoon and it looks about like what we expected. We’ll delve into each game another time but note the gruesome back-to-back games at Rupp Arena against St. John’s and then North Carolina in a three-day span. Also, the annual Freedom Hall game will be played against Arkansas-Little Rock and Louisville comes to town on New Year’s Eve.
vs. Marist – Nov. 11
vs. Kansas- Nov. 15 – Madison Square Garden
vs. Penn State – Nov. 19 – Uncasville, Connecticut
vs. Old Dominion/South Florida – Nov. 20 – Uncasville, Connecticut
vs. Radford – Nov. 23
vs. Portland – Nov. 26
vs. St. John’s – Dec. 1
vs. North Carolina – Dec. 3
@ Indiana – Dec. 10
vs. Chattanooga – Dec.
vs. Samford – Dec. 20
vs. Loyola (Md.) – Dec. 22
vs. Lamar – Dec. 28
vs. Louisville – Dec. 31
vs. Arkansas-Little Rock – Jan. 3rd – Freedom Hall
UK will release the complete basketball schedule as soon as the school receives its conference schedule from the SEC. Until then, just keep on persuading the family to take a vacation to Uncasville, Connecticut. They’ll eventually give in.
–– Coach Cal spent his Thursday at the Peach Jam in South Carolina. While watching Ricardo Ledo and DaJuan Coleman in the early games, Calipari sat beside and chatted it up with Jim Boehim, the very man he is competing against for Coleman’s services. No one knows what the two coaches discussed but I suspect it went something like this: “Jim, go home. DaJuan’s coming to Kentucky and there is nothing you can do about it.”
— In the evening, Coach Cal sat beside Coach K while watching 2013 recruits Julius Randle and Matt Jones. Randle is Rivals.com’s second best player in the class and Matt Jones is not that one guy you “may know from a popular UK website.” No one knows what the two coaches discussed but I suspect it went something like this: “Duke sucks.”
— Today is the final day of the first July evaluation period and Jody Demling says Perry Ellis has received more attention from Coach Cal than any other prospect. Orlando Antigua watched every one of Ellis’ games in Indianapolis while Coach Cal flew back and forth to join in on the action. Ellis’ mother estimates that Calipari was at seven of her son’s games. It sounds like the 6’8 power forward is a priority for UK in the 2012 class.
— Speaking of the 2012 class, Coach Cal isn’t worried about the lack of commitments at this point in the summer. Cal told The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcey that “we’ll be fine” and no one gets every kid they want. Remember, this time last year, Kentucky had already picked up commitments from Marquis Teague and Michael Gilchrist with Anthony Davis expressing heavy interest in the Cats. Right now, UK has no one and there aren’t many names out there that could be considered UK leans. Still, when Coach Cal says don’t worry, we don’t worry. Breathe easy.
— In football news, Larry Warford and Danny Trevathan were named first team All-SEC by the coaches. Warford and Trevathan were also named to the preseason watch list for the Rotarty Lombardi Award, given to the player who best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi. But they weren’t the only two Cats getting love, punter Ryan Tydlacka made third team All-SEC as a specialist. Kentucky’s three All-SEC players were the second lowest by a school in the conference, right above… Tennessee? That’s right, Tennessee only had two All-SEC players while Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State claimed four. This is the year.
— Did anyone watch the ESPYs? No? Okay.
— I went out to BD’s Mongolian Grill Thursday night to see special guest grill masters Jeremy Jarmon, Micah Johnson, Alphonso Smith, and Randall Cobb. Cobb showed that his tireless work ethic isn’t just on the football field as he stood over five dishes at once while Micah and Alphonso were trying to crack an egg across the grill. Jeremy was on break somewhere. I asked Alphonso to #plank on the grill for a Twitter picture but he wouldn’t honor my request. The locked out guys looked like they were having a lot of fun until the Chiefs almost lost Micah Johnson for the season when he tried to flip the grill tool and caught the hot end rather than the handle. It was a fun event for a good cause and it would’ve been even better had my food been edible. Thanks a lot, guys.
Hey Randall, can I get that steak med-rare? And separate the egg whites please.
This morning’s edition of Kentucky Sports Radio is going to be a good one. Listen in on Talk Radio 1080 at 10:00 am.