Good morning, my sweet KSR readers, and welcome to your Friday News and Views. We could take the easy way out and celebrate what would have been the 201st birthday of Harlan County native Abraham Lincoln, but you don’t come here for politics. At least, that’s what you keep telling us. So, with that in mind, how about a shoutout to another Kentucky native, Campbellsville’s own, J.B. Holmes? The one they used to call “John” is fresh off of a third place tie in last week’s Northern Trust Open (which netted him a cool $371k) and continued his hot streak today in the first round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, finishing in second with a -7. Primarily recognized for his ability to crush the ball off the tee, Holmes has showcased the drastically improved short game he’s developed in three weeks of working with Dave Stockton and made the SportsCenter highlight package by dropping one in from 175 out for an eagle on 8. Hopefully his resurgence means the return of hundreds of “Sup Holmes?” space filler posts like we used to do. It should be noted that the guy in last place is Sandy Lyle, hopefully this Sandy Lyle.
Now onto some UK news….
– How about we get things started with a little love for the ladies? Matthew Mitchell’s team continues to be on a tear, blowing out #19 Georgia tonight at Memorial Coliseum, their 16th straight home win. The Wildcats, picked to finish second to last in the preseason, now sit at 21-3 (9-2 in conference) and are only one game behind #5 Tennessee, who they play February 25. Again, congratulations to Coach Mitchell and his girls. They’re working on something special over there.
– Keeping with the catering to the ladies theme, Mitchell also landed UK’s first women’s McDonald’s All-American Thursday evening. Well, technically, Jennifer O’Neill had already committed, but the 5’6″ New Yorker earned the prestigious honors Thursdy. O’Neill is ranked as the #30 player in the class of 2010, according to ESPN’s HoopGurlz, arguably the best named website on the internet.
– Speaking of All-Americans, five UK targets were on the McDonald’s list. Doron Lamb, CJ Leslie, Josh Selby, Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones all earned their spots and UK remains as a possible destination for all of them. The game is March 31 in Columbus, Ohio.
– The men’s team continues to prepare for their GameDay matchup with Tennessee on Saturday and UK fans thought they had a blessing in disguise today when reports surfaced that Wayne Chism was in a walking boot and did not practice. All reports indicate that he will still play against the Cats.
– With a chance to make a statement on a national stage against his rival, Bruce Pearl is leaving no stone unturned and decided to let Bernard King speak to the Vols after practice Thursday. King told the team this:
“We don’t lose to Kentucky,” King told the Vols. “You hear me? We’re not losing to Kentucky. I’m going to be there with you, and we’re going to get it done.”
I’m sure someone spoke up and said “Dude, we couldn’t even beat Gillispie 50% of the time”, but I can’t confirm that. King also said he got hit with a lit cigarette at Rupp as a freshman. Who says the blue hairs don’t get rowdy? (via Wes Rucker)
– In case you missed it, the Rick Pitino and the New Jersey Nets story blew up. Depending on who you believe, Pitino either did or did not inquire about it and either was or was not a candidate. The safe money is that he inquired, was shot down and then denied it when it was made public. The non-ESPN national media ripped apart Pitino for his apparently blatant courting and denial of NBA jobs. Unfortunately, they made the same mistake I did. They referred to Rod Thorn as the Nets’ president instead of what Pitino caught from Karen Sypher.
– Meanwhile, Pitino’s band of Filthy Cards got blasted by a lousy St. Johns team, a team riding a 5-game losing streak and sitting at 2-8 in conference entering the game. Pitino may or may not have been a distraction for his team, but you can count on the Nets situation being blamed for an absolutely embarrassing performance. Barring a miraculous turnaround, the Cards look to be headed for another NIT.
– According to a commenter, Terry Meiners said I don’t know what I’m talking about on his radio show. For the record, I do not disagree. And I love Terry Meiners.
– Shoutout to former Cat Nazr Mohammed who went for 21 points and 20 rebounds against the T-Wolves. More importantly, his dunk with 5.3 seconds left won the game for the Bobcats. Good work, Nazr. Keep the motivational tweets coming!
– Don’t forget, tonight is the screening of Derek Anderson’s The Untouchables at the Hyatt in Lexington. The documentary profiles the 1996 title team and is available for purchase online.
– In case you missed it (I don’t know how you did), CBS is sending the KSR crew on the road for a 10-day college basketball tour. Personally speaking, I couldn’t be more excited about the trip and it’s yet another amazing opportunity I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of since we started doing this. With that being said, I think I speak for everyone when I say none of this would be possible without all the support you’ve given us over the years and we recognize that every cool experience we’ve enjoyed (and continue to enjoy hopefully) is a result of the support of the KSR readers. So thank you for that. I hope you guys are all as excited about it as we are.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day as we present stuff in a ridiculous manner and get you all set for the low down dirty snitches coming to town tomorrow. It’s going to be a fun day. Stick around. See you in a few…