I begin tonight’s post by preemptively asking for forgiveness as it has been a while since I have done this whole “night post” thing. With Beisner getting in the car on Tuesday morning to move to Kentucky and Drew Franklin on the way to see Jimmy Buffett, it is left to me to sum up the day’s activities in the best manner possible. We begin with a nod to a phenomenon that has likely frustrated everyone at some point in recent years, the expansion of virtually all phone services to Asian companies. If you have called any major corporation and have asked for anything ranging from help with your computer to information on your Amazon order, chances are that you have dealt with an Asian call center. And if you are like me, you have probably been frustrated by some form of a communication barrier that has left you begging to be transferred to the Boise office instead. While I still find myself wishing to speak to a good old Red, White and Blue voice, I have a new respect for such workers after reading this article about a summer spent working at an Indian Call Center. An American writer spends the summer with Indian Call Center employees, all of whom are competing vigorously for what is considered to be a great job in their country. The writer talks about the various ways they are treated (surprisingly not good) and their living conditions (not great, but better than you might think). It is a great read and part of the KSR Book Club for late August. Enjoy.
Now there isn’t a whole lot of news on the horizon, so we will look at the two main topics of the day:
2012 BASKETBALL RECRUITING:
For the past two weeks, numerous members of the 2012 class have come out with their Top 5 school lists and virtually all the great players have Kentucky near the top. In fact, at this point 13 of the Top 25 players in the 2012 class have listed Kentucky as one of their five favorites. Add to that the fact that players like Robert Carter and Willie Cauley are still actively being recruited by Kentucky and it is clear that UK has many options from which to pick.
What is odd however is that while Kentucky is right there with many kids, the Wildcats are not necessarily the prohibitive favorite for ANY recruit in the 2012 class. Many kids have Kentucky as their top choice, but the Cats either haven’t offered or aren’t recruiting them fully (Ricardo Ledo, Robert Carter). Other kids love Kentucky, but also love another school as well (Dajuan Coleman, Archie Goodwin). Still others are players that Kentucky covets but serious work must be done to move into the top slot (Mitch McGary, Shabazz Muhammed). So at this point, it isn’t clear exactly where Kentucky will go or how the 2012 class will develop.
With that said, Kentucky is going to end up with a top 10, and likely top 5, class. Sheer numbers suggest that they will end up with their fair share of players and once some early players commit, the dominoes will likely fall UK’s way. However who is in that class is anyone’s guess. I was asked today about my guess as to the most likely makeup of the class if I were FORCED to make a prediction today. With that in mind, and admitting up front that these could change tomorrow, I would bet the class would look like this:
1. Ryan Harrow
2. Archie Goodwin
3. Alex Poythress
4. Willie Cauley
5. A wildcard (someone like Dajuan Coleman or Brandon Ashley)
6. Another perimeter shooting specialist, potentially from JUCO
My reason for this list is relatively simple. I think UK takes 5 players this year, operating under the assumption that Marquis Teague, Kyle Witljer, Stacey Poole, Jon Hood and one wildcard (lets say Michael Gilchrist) return. Ryan Harrow is already on campus and Archie Goodwin is the player that I believe is most likely to end up in Blue of the current recruits. Alex Poythress loves Kentucky and the staff has fallen in love with him in the past 2 months. While pulling him away from Duke, Florida and the home state schools will not be easy, I like Kentucky’s chances. Wilie Cauley is a player that most fans don’t realize is as high on Kentucky’s list as he really is. If the Cats ever feel that they won’t get Dajuan Coleman, I think they pull the trigger on Cauley…and they might do it anyway. A lot of players that UK fans covet, the staff doesn’t necessarily feel they are in on in a great way, so Cauley might get an offer quicker than fans believe. And then I still think UK pulls one out of nowhere, a la Kyle Wiltjer last season. The guess here is Brandon Ashley, a kid from the West Coast that might be my favorite player in the class but one that Calipari HAS to get on campus and do work on to make a UK commit. None of these are certain and all may end up incorrect, but it is a good guess to start the process.
FUTURE OF RUPP ARENA:
It hasn’t gotten a ton of play in the media today, but this afternoon in Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Mitch Barnhart spoke to local media about the Rupp Arena project and the future of Lexington’s most famous building. I was unable to attend due to the tv taping, but Chip Cosby went for CN2 and spoke about the conversation on KSTV. He said that from his perspective, UK and Mitch Barnhart are committed to wanting a new arena in Lexington, and have the belief that the current one will not work for the University’s future. Barnhart noted that the money from the arena has to be used to help fund an entire athletic department and whatever historical significance Rupp Arena may have (and personally, I believe it is very little) is overshadowed by that need. Chip said that Jim Gray seemed a bit more hesitant and is committed to undertaking the 6-8 month “study” process that the city is now engaged in. Gray wants to figure out the effect a new arena will have on downtown and what options the city will have once it is built.
Chip came away from the meeting with the view that in the end, a new arena will be built in Lexington. Cosby said that the wildcard in the entire process is John Calipari and as long as he remains at UK and is able to help in securing funding (whether private or government), the process will move forward. I tend to agree with Chip and today’s meeting suggests that the University is totally in the KSR corner (BUILD, BUILD, BUILD), while the city will end up there eventually.
If you missed the radio show today, listen below as we had:
(a) “I am Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View!”
(b) Oscar Combs with the hardest trivia question in history
(c) The coolest UK athletes in history
(d) Rex Chapman wonders why do we scream at each other?
(e) Why one might need to undercoat a car