BREAKING NEWS: Detroit News is now reporting that JAMES YOUNG WILL PICK KENTUCKY tomorrow at 5 pm when he makes his announcement. You can read the story here.
Let me start off by saying that “mustard people” weird me out. I’m not talking about people who like mustard. That’s fair, understandable even. But people who dislike ketchup and forgo it on a regular basis in favor of mustard– those people I just can’t see eye to eye with. I can’t trust them. You know the old saying, “you can’t trust someone with two first names?” Well for me, you also can’t trust someone who only puts mustard on their hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. I’m sure they were raised by great people and even have a good heart, but I just simply will never fully understand it.
Henry John Heinz was born on October 11, 1844 and he later founded the “57 varieties” of Heinz Ketchup. Heinz Ketchup is probably one of the most widely recognizable brands of ketchup, popping up in restaurants and households across the country. Ketchup has greatly improved many food products by providing the perfect complimentary flavor and zing to food such as french fries, meat loaf, hot dogs, hamburgers and even macaroni (I’ve seen it a lot, people). Or if you are like one of my close friends from college, you steal ketchup packets for your room and eat them as a snack after a late night of…studying.
Lesser known fun fact about Heinz 57 Ketchup:
What does the “57” stand for in Heinz’s famous slogan, “57 Varieties?”
While riding a train in New York City in 1896, Henry Heinz saw a sign advertising 21 styles of shoes, which he thought was clever. Although Heinz was manufacturing more than 60 products at the time, Henry thought 57 was a lucky number. So, he began using the slogan “57 Varieties” in all his advertising. Today the company has more than 5,700 products around the globe, but still uses the magic number of “57.”
And now on to some news and views from the day…
– The biggest news on the day came early this morning when word of James Young making his college decision tomorrow broke. James Young will be making his announcement via an ESPNU special tomorrow at 5 p.m. Unlike the Harrison twins last week, when most of the experts didn’t feel entirely comfortable making a wholesale prediction, with Young most of the experts feel very good about Kentucky’s chances. Evan Daniels of Scout, who plays it close to his vest if he’s not sure, seems confident that Kentucky will be his destination of choice. Daniels also stated on his Twitter account that the “presser won’t be suspenseful. Only one school still involved.” All sources point to that school being Kentucky.
– If Young does in fact commit to Kentucky tomorrow evening, Calipari will have already wrapped up the #2, #4 and #5 recruits (according to ESPN) in the 2013 class. And guess what? He’s just getting started, folks. Calipari mentioned today that he hopes some of his already committed recruits are on the job recruiting more to join what could very well be the greatest recruiting class of all time. “I hope we have a few guys on the phone today,” quipped Calipari.
— For those who enjoy a competitive SEC (my hand is raised), if James Young commits to Kentucky, the only 6 committed players of the current top 10 players in the 2013 class will all be playing basketball in the SEC. Most for Kentucky. None for Auburn. Ever.
– The other news of the day, which struck a bit of fear into Big Blue Nation was the report from ZagsBlog about Nerlens Noel’s eligibility. Matt broke it down earlier, and I see no need to add anything new, as we have not heard anything further and probably won’t for a while. In case you missed it, here’s Matt’s take:
“There has been slight panic across Big Blue Nation today about the ZagsBlog story concerning the eligibility of Nerlens Noel. It is a little complicated, but I will make it simple. Noel is currently academically eligible…that much is good. Now the question is one of amateurism, specifically some associations with folks he had around his high school days. The NCAA hasn’t yet made a ruling, but with practice beginning this weekend, the 45 day grace period has begun that allows Nerlens to practice while his eligibility is being decided. The only reason this is news now is because practice is starting. So don’t sweat it…it is what everyone assumed would happen. If there is a time to panic in the future, we will let you know. But now is not that time.”
– Even though the hype leading up to Big Blue Madness has been clearly focused on the basketball team, the Kentucky football team is gearing up for a big road game against Arkansas this Saturday. Although it feels a little silly to even say at this point as a possibility, Kentucky is nearing the “absolutely must win this game” stage (and every other game from here on out for that matter) to hold on to any hope of becoming bowl eligible. Technically, it is amazingly still mathematically possible… though I think most can agree highly, highly improbable. Heading into the game as an eighteen point underdog, and winless since the Kent State game, is probably not the ideal position to be in– to put it nicely. Kentucky will face off against a talented SEC quarterback, and a top 25 passing team. For Kentucky, who currently has a very depleted secondary, the challenge is daunting.
– Jalen Whitlow continues to improve with each week. As opposed to last week, when the coaching staff did not give rave reviews of his week of practice, Joker Phillips seemed more pleased with Whitlow heading into this weekend’s game. “He has been really sharp.” Whitlow has been getting 75% of the snaps.
-If you don’t think injuries have been a huge factor for this Kentucky football team so far this season, you’re kidding yourself. Just take this tidbit from Phillips’ meeting with the media today: Teams normally travel 70. UK is taking 68. When asked why, Phillips said, “that’s all we got.” Kentucky was plenty healthy enough against Western Kentucky, and they still lost that game, so it’s hard to say whether or not the results would be vastly different, but the number of injuries has continued to pile up. Joker Phillips had this to say on the number of freshmen and sophomores making this week’s trip: “I’m a little scared to even sit down and look at it.”
– Speaking of injuries, Martavius Neloms, Mikie Benton and Ashely Lowery did not practice again today. If they don’t practice tomorrow, they won’t travel to Arkansas.
– Big Blue Madness is just around the corner, and I think people are starting to get just a little bit excited for UK basketball season. (The picture below is from the Tip-off Luncheon)
– Speaking of Big Blue Madness, which is now just a few night’s sleep away, the guest list was upgraded significantly today. The #1 player in the 2015 class, Karl Towns, will be in attendance on Friday evening. Towns spent a lot of time in Lexington this summer being saturated by everything Kentucky basketball while training with Calipari and the Dominican Republic team. Although Towns has been making his rounds on the recruiting trail, including a stop in the Swamp for a Florida football game last weekend, one would have to think that Calipari holds a major edge in his recruitment.
– As we mentioned earlier in reference to Calipari’s speech at the Kentucky Basketball Tip-Off Luncheon, Calipari had some kind words for Rick Pitino. Pitino returned the favor this evening when discussing his team and college basketball in general. Pitino praised Calipari, calling him a “great recruiter” and also said that he is “great with coaching young kids.” In other news, Pitino also said the sky was blue and Russ Smith likes to shoot.
– Gary Parrish came out with an article today in which he named his “College Basketball Dream Team” with players from teams from this year’s upcoming season. First and foremost, the list itself showcases just how down the landscape of college basketball will be this year. Second of all, Parrish did not select a Kentucky player for his Dream Team, but did appoint Nerlens Noel as his “redshirt player.” Parrish also included Kenny Payne on his list of assistant coaches, and a couple of Kentucky targets in his “Recruits to Target” section,
C- Nerlens Noel (Kentucky) “I’ve got Zeller in the middle and some adequate big reserves. I’ll let Noel sit for a year and develop, then block shots for me in 2013-2014.”
– One interesting tidbit before packing up the notes and calling it a night: Duke is planning a major athletics facilities upgrade in the near future. The proposed upgrade includes adding more seats and new features to the 83 year-old football stadium. Two things of note with this random bit of news. 1) Duke is a basketball school. Duke is taking a major step by pouring more money into the football program. 2) With the financial support and commitment to football, perhaps Duke will be able to hang on to David Cutcliffe, who has become a name popping up as of late for a potential coaching change at Kentucky.
And last but not least…Happy hopefully James Young commitment-eve, folks.