Can you feel the excitement? Forget the Vandy game. Today is the first morning of 2011 that you can wake up to a Sportscenter highlight of the Cavaliers winning a basketball game. LeBron’s fat ex-girlfriends knocked off the Clippers in overtime and were able to avoid a collapse after a bucket and assist by Eric Bledsoe closed the gap to one by getting a crucial no-call on one of the most blatant fouls you’ll see. Who was the ref pocketing the whistle? None other than former NBA point guard Haywoode Workman, who once shared the Pacer backcourt with current Cleveland coach Byron Scott. Conspiracy? Sure, why not? Whatever it takes for the mention of Workman’s name inspiring thoughts of anything but AWANA.
A few late notes…
– As Matt noted in the previous post, the decision by Lee Todd to extend Mitch Barnhart’s contract shortly before he leaves office as UK’s president was a bit curious. However, Todd disagrees. He defended the decision to WKYT Friday, saying that it was the right thing to do and noted that sticking by Rich Brooks when it wasn’t popular was also a decision that turned out to be the right one. The most interesting part of the conversation, though, was Todd admitting that Barnhart would have hired Calipari to replace Tubby Smith, but he did not endorse the idea at the time. Here is what he said was his reasoning:
“To be perfectly honest with that, that was a time where Mitch probably would have hired Calipari, but I didn’t want to do that at that time, because it was back then when these students were playing basketball that went to, what I call, bogus high schools. So we weren’t brining those students in from those schools, but there were some in John’s case,” Dr. Todd said.
You can read the whole story here.
– In their matinee showdown with Vanderbilt tomorrow, the Cats are one-point underdogs. Given their struggles on the road to this point, not being favored certainly seems fair. Maybe even a little generous. On an unrelated note, Kentucky placed more athletes on the Academic Honor Roll for the fall semester than the Commodores. Suck it.
– According to Aaron Cordero of Bleed Blue Kentucky, former Mercer County running back Brandon Ford will walk on to the Kentucky football team next season. Ford played for City College in San Francisco, the former school of OJ Simpson, and played well enough to make it on to YouTube. Watch his video here.
– If you were wondering who the state’s leading high school scorer is, it’s Hobo McCoy of Pike Central. He’s averaging 31 points per game. And his name is awesome.
– Amazingly, the thought that Billy Gillispie could end up as the head coach of the Wyoming Cowboys is picking upa little bit of steam thanks to this story in the Wyoming News. Conventional wisdom would indicate that Clyde would prefer to hold out for a better gig, but there’s still no guarantee that bigger schools will be willing to gamble on him without seeing him work elsewhere first. Regardless, my favorite part of the Wyoming News story is the quote saying the Cowboys will hire “either current Division I coach, a high-profile assistant or someone who has been a head man but hasn’t coached in a couple of years.” The coach will also be a human. And breathe. And have a social security number. Hope that narrows it down.
– Hey, look! Pete Thamel is looking into someone’s grades! Call me crazy, but I didn’t see that coming. It’s just so out of character for him. It does explain why he hasn’t gotten back to us about that contract offer yet. Dude has been busy.
– Coach Cal has been very open about trying to motivate his players through the media. Sometimes it’s a little critical, but it’s mostly just motivational. Never is it anything like what Bruce Weber said about Demetri McCamey. Weber put his best player on blast on local radio Friday, which is the first time I can remember a coach doing so. I bet he responds well to that and their relationship really thrives. I have a feeling we’ll get a Gregg Doyel column on this.
That’s it for now. Stick around all day Saturday as we finish getting you prepped for the Commodores Saturday morning and then spend some time together on the Live Blog that starts at 12:30. I’ll do my best to get rid of this head cold by then. I know you were concerned. In the meantime, take a look at this suggested floor for the Yum! Center, which was originally posted on The Dagger on Yahoo! (that’s a lot of unneccessary exclamation points in that sentence). It’s like Oregon’s court, but it makes you salivate more.
See you in a few…