Good morning, my KSR family, and welcome to the first Thursday of the rest of your lives – and a day that has a familiar feeling to it. On Wednesday, much like the day before, the testimony came fast and furious again in Louisville. However, despite the massive amounts of information pouring out, a surprising party made headlines by publicly speaking out against the proceedings. In a recorded tape, Rick Pitino played the role of the caring counselor as he assured Karen Sypher that she would not go to Hell. It seemed to be a small footnote in a massive day of testimony, but it turned out that it was one that Hell would not let go quietly. In a statement issued by Hell’s publicist, the fiery afterlife destination said urged all of those involved to “leave me out of this disgustingly perverse and sick public glorification of sinfulness”. Hell’s publicist then added that, while the ultimate judgement would come later, his client tries not to think of the possibility of anyone involved in this moving into his neighborhood.
Now onto some UK notes…
– While Rick Pitino’s day of testimony seemed to go perfectly with what he had to have hoped entering the day, Thursday might present a much tougher outing. In his time on the stand, which Matt said was obviously uncomfortable for him, Pitino essentially admitted to nothing that was new and avoided any further public smearing. However, Sypher’s defense team will cross-examine Pitino on Thursday and, likely, will question him much more intensely. As we noted yesterday, should they decide to go for mud and start questioning his past, Pitino’s entire past (including his time at UK) could be introduced and questioned. If there is nothing there, no big deal. But, if the Sypher situation is not an anomaly, it could get embarrassing. Wednesday night had to be a horribly uncomfortable one for Rick Pitino.
– The big news of the day in the state, as mentioned above, was Rick Pitino taking the stand to answer questions from the prosecution in Karen Sypher’s extortion trial. Matt says Pitino’s testimony significantly helped the prosecution, putting some points on the board for the good ole U.S. of A a day after Sypher was seen as having a good day in court on Tuesday. But, despite this success, there were a couple of other clear-cut winners and losers:
1. My buddy Erik – He had “white thong” in the office pool.
2. Conservationists – If Karen Sypher had driven Rick Pitino home in a Prius instead of her gas-guzzling SUV, it would have been a home run day for anyone who’s ever believed less to be more. Instead, mimimalists will have to celebrate the public attention being turned to fabric and energy conservation. The big buzz of Wednesday surrounded Karen Sypher’s apparent obsession on miniskirts and Rick Pitino’s insistance that their interaction was “very brief”. It was like Earth Day if Earth Day was a film starring Jenna Jameson.
3. Paraphrasing – Now, I’m not going to say Rick Pitino didn’t tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth when being questioned by the prosecution. I have no idea. But, I will say that after knowing what we know about Karen Sypher and the way she gets down so openly and so aggressively, I am a little hesitant to believe that she actually said “You have to pull out because I’m fertile”. That just doesn’t fit her profile. I’m sure she communicated that thought, but I tend to think Coach Pitino might have cleaned it up a bit.
1. Loyalty – Poor Vinnie Tatum. He got stuck picking up a tab that wasn’t his and he had to sit and wait awkwardly for unmentionable things to finish. And what does he get for being a good soldier? A trip to federal court where he is forced to decide if the burden is on the woman to resist when her skirt is being raised in front of a group of strangers in public.
2. Matt Jones – Our beloved KSR star is certainly having his Chip Brown moment in the sun right now as major websites are picking up his every tweet and every post. Unfortunately for him, unlike the similar success enjoyed earlier this summer by Orangebloods.com’s Brown, his have to include words generally reserved for health class. And, believe it or not, this is actually sleezier than the closed-doors handshakes and lies that surrounded conference realignment.
3. Everyone else in my office pool – Sorry, guys. I thought “commando” was a lock too.
– On an actual UK note, the Governor’s Cup Luncheon was held in Louisville on Wednesday and both Joker Phillips and Charlie Strong spoke to the crowd, both saying very positive things about each other and the friendship that exists between them. Joker said that he considered joining Strong’s staff when Strong interviewed for previous head coaching positions. Now, the two friends will be facing each other in what will be the head coaching debut for both.
– One of the major theme’s of Joker’s time at the podium was the confidence he has in his staff and the emphasis that he’s put on making sure they’re great recruiters, as well as coaches. He acknowledged the returning coordinators (Randy Sanders and Steve Brown), but spent some time describing the new members of UK’s coaching staff and what he expects from them. Most notably, he said that Tee Martin, in addition to being a good coach, is a valuable recruiting tool because “his name is still out there among the kids” and that he hired new offensive line coach Mike Summers because his lines are always physical and very knowledgable of offensive schemes. He also said that Rock Oliver has helped transform the players physically in his short time in Lexington. You could tell that Joker is extremely happy about where the coaches have gotten the players, as well as where he thinks they can take the program in the future.
– On a personnel note, the big news was the eligibility of Donte Rumph, who not only adds depth to the defensive line, but also represents a good story of a player who fought for two years to get to Lexington. Joker said that Rumph will play this season, saying “If we don’t play him now, he’ll be 40 years old before he finishes”, but said that he’s not placing high expectations on the young man because he will likely be out of shape. However, you could tell he was genuinely pleased for his team, as well as the young man.
– Joker also added that defensive tackle Mister Cobble is “day to day” in his efforts to gain eligibility. The summer session ends next Thursday, so his status won’t be known before then. He’s another player who might not have high expectations, but getting him available for games will add depth to a position where having fresh bodies is very important.
– On a less positive note, Kentucky lost a recruit when three-star corner Justin Coleman committed to Tennessee. Coleman said that it was neck and neck between the Vols and the Cats, but the tradition of Tennessee pushed them over the edge. Plus, Louisville basketball has an incoming freshman named Justin Coleman and cheering for one and rooting against another would be too confusing for Kentucky fans.
– On a basketball note, Michael Gilchrist said he will wear #14 when he arrives in Lexington in 2011. He will wear the jersey to honor his late father, whose birthday was the 14th of April, as well as Chris Douglas-Roberts. For his part, CDR tweeted that UK better be glad that they have Coach Cal because it wasn’t too long ago that Gilchrist was wanting to be a Memphis Tiger. Yet another reason to be happy about the current coaching situation. You know, in case the current court proceedings in Louisville hadn’t provided enough yet.
– Also, the UK basketball schedule got two more games added when Missippi Valley State and Coppin State both announced they will play UK this season. The Mississippi Valley game will be December 18 and Coppin State will come to Rupp on December 28. Good thing we don’t have to camp out for tickets or else the tents would start popping up now.
– On a non-UK note, prayers go out to the friends and family of Lorenzen Wright, whose body was found on Wednesday. Wright, according to reports, was the victim of a dozen gun shot wounds and was reportedly linked to him having a large amount of cash in his possession. A very sad story.
– And, finally, congratulations to commenter tdogg4033011 on the birth of his son yesterday morning. I’m sure both he and duhvillecat will be wonderful parents to the happy and healthy little guy. In all seriousness, though, congratulations.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day for all the UK goodness that you’d come to expect from us here at KSR, as well as all the ridiculousness that you’d expect from Sypher’s defense team cross-examining Rick Pitino. It’s going to be an interesting day around, if nothing else. See you in a few…