When you look at famous buildings, do you ever think of who happened to be the architect? I most certainly dont, in part because I have always believed that “architect” was a made up profession since I never really knew anyone who ever actually engaged in it besides Mike Brady. But if you are an architect fan, then you surely know the name of I.M. Pei, one of the world’s greatest living practicioners of the trade. Pei, besides having a name that would make Beavis and Butthead laugh, is often considered the last truly great practicioner of modernist architecture (which in this case means “traditional”) and has had a long and varied career that has spanned from the JFK library in Massachusetts to his most recent work…..the Nascar Hall of Fame. Yes you read that correctly, our fair sport hired one of the best architects of the 20th Century to design its most famous building after declining the first design which was simply a lego car created by Kyle Petty. Pei turns the ripe old age of 90 today and during this time where we seek to honor the building of the UK empire once again, his inclusion in today’s post is particularly appropriate….and well, I refuse to write about the other famous birthday, Carol Burnett.
To the news Jeeves…..
(1) The big story today is of course the recruitment of big man Beas Hamga who is from Decatur Christian and has burst no the scene in the last week or so. Hamga is an athletic big man who can score and as seen by the picture earlier, pull the rim down without jumping thanks to his 7’4″ wingspan. There has been some speculation as to his status, whether 2007 or 2008 and Marc Maggard sent me an email tonight updating the situation:
Beas Hamga’s high school coach, Al Huss, stated to The Cats Pause’s Jeff Drummond that He felt 99% certain that Beas would be returning for his senior year, but there have been discussions about reclassifying for 07. The key here is that those discussions are not finished. Billy G is set to meet with Beas legal guardian and AAU coach, Mark Adams, in the next few days. If Beas starts to feel like UK is the place he wants to be and understands that being an 07 recruit would allow him to play quickly and get a head start on whoever else may be coming in 08, then his attitude may change concerning a reclassification to 07. Mark Adams is clearly the main counsel for Beas and there is much recruiting to still be done. I would not rule out anything at this early stage of the romance and still feel that there is MUCH more than a 1% chance that Beas could become a 07 recruit.
(2) I may have never seen a recruitment with more varied opinions than the ones that are coming out of the Patrick Patterson camp. I spoke with two national recruiting guys in the last two days, both of whom swore to me that (a) they didnt know where he would go and (b) they think that all three schools are STILL really being considered. They believe Patterson is truly undecided and that the talk about waiting is not lip service. All have been impressed with Billy Clyde’s ability to keep Kentucky in the race and they all agreed that we wouldnt know until the very end. You should read the Intern’s post from earlier about Lucas and Patterson and chime in on what their collective nickname should be…..I am partial to “Patucas”.
(3) Onto Jai Lucas who is in the midst of the final set of visits by the five coaches for his services. Jai was scheduled to be visited by Billy Donovan today but there is some speculation that he has asked to be moved back to Monday, thus making him the final visitor. I have not heard confirmation on this, but it is at least informed speculation at this point.
In other news, we had a report earlier about the question of whether Lucas could actually take “in home” visits at this point or just workout visits. Because the NCAA rules are harder to decipher than the ancient Egyptian sanskript, it is unclear that we even know the rules for sure. So we will leave it to the experts and just suggest that Lucas will be “seeing” the coaches this week and weekend.
(4) There is a lot of buzz concerning 08 top ranked combo forward Al-Farouq Aminu who plays for Norcross High School. Many wonder if the fact that Jodie Meeks played at Norcross would have any impact, however, this is Aminu’s first season at Norcross and there are no known ties to Meeks that I’m aware of. Unfortunately, there are ties to Georgia Tech and coach Paul Hewitt, who many say clearly lead for Aminu’s services. Al-Farouq lives with GTech standout Lani Gawal’s parents as his host family. If Aminu was to decide not to attend Gtech, many believe that UNC is next in line with a strong standing in second place. — Marc Maggard
(5) Question for the football fans out there. If you look at the schedule next year, there are five games that look imminently winnable (EKU, Kent, Fla Atl, Miss St, Vandy) and seven games that the Cats will be the underdog going in (Fla, LSU, Tenn, Ville, at Ga, at Ark, at S.Carolina). IF you had to pick the 6th win…..which is the most likely. Vote on the right at the poll.
More later….until then, get ready for a big Sports Mob weekend, including Friday’s show with Tomlin on baseball and a special guest….