Before we get started, just a quick note of thanks. I cant tell you how much I appreciate the outpouring of support that I have gotten from the KSR fans over the last 48 hours. I cant tell you how much all of your messages of encouragement and prayers have meant to me and my family. There is no real change in condition of my grandmother but our family has felt the warmth of the support of the Big Blue Nation and beyond.
Some Tuesday notes:
— The big story of today was the Demarcus Cousins cell phone-gate, as Boogie spoke about the Mississippi State fans getting his number and their harassing calls and texts. The situation got worse on Sunday as various reporters reported on the number being on a message board, thus increasing the amount of calls. But Boogie seems to be handling it in stride and laughing it off, which is I guess all you can do. I do love however that he says he wont change his number till after the game so he can see what people will say then. Classic Boogie talk and I am sure he actually enjoys the randomness of it all.
— The Cats are on the road to play in Starkville against Mississippi State, in a game that could not be more important for the Bulldog program. First, it is their biggest game of the year, as the #2 team is in town for its bi-annual visit. But equally as important is the fact that Mississippi State is now firmly on the NCAA bubble, and a win against UK is exactly what it needs to make the Tournament. In the same manner in which the UL win over Syracuse put them in for now, a victory over UK puts Mississippi State in. So expect the top effort from the Bulldogs as their season is on the line.
— Anytime Mississippi State is the topic, Jarvis Varnardo becomes my focus. For whatever reason, Varnardo has always played at his top level against the Cats and his shot blocking has been a game changer over his career. Tonight we get to see Varnardo vs Cousins and Jarvis may be the first player this year that I have seen Boogie seem to believe is really talented. If Cousins could simply play Varnardo equally, the Cats will win big. In the past, Varnardo has dominated whoever he has been matched up against, and even a tie from Cousins would (a) win the game and (b) make Cousins some money. One NBA scout told me two weeks ago, “how Cousins plays against Varnardo is of MAJOR interest to us.”
— Add Direct TV to the list of companies that Calipari is now the pitchman for this season. He is pitching the March Madness package and while he doesnt mention that you can get it from Pikeville to Paducah, he does believe it poops ice cream.
— I am a bit surprised at the Irv Gotti appearance at Rupp Arena. While I have no problem with UK becoming THE place for athletes, entertainers, etc to visit this year and in the future, I thought there would be some pushback on Gotti. This is a guy that isnt just an entertainer but has a severe history of criminal charges that were very serious. It doesnt bother me necessarily, as I dont get worked up about things of secondary nature. But Irv Gotti on the front row of Rupp reminds me a lot of Luther Campbell on the sidelines at the U. After the game however, I hope he got a nice steak from Eddie Montgomery’s Steakhouse!
— I am watching a ton of the Winter Olympics for some reason. My favorite event is the snowboard cross racing. Every race someone wipes out…guaranteed. I would pay good money for a KSR version and my money would be on Brian the Intern wrecking within seconds.
— Steve Jones of TCP reports tonight that Marquis Teague will reschedule his visit that he missed this last weekend. The 2011 stud recruit has been scheduled to come to Lexington a number of times and has had to cancel. Getting him on campus is important, because he is the key ingredient to what could be an historic 2011 class.
— Vienna Padgett moved on to the final two of the Bachelor. We are considering live blogging the finale in two weeks…so set your calendars.
— Was there ever any whiter player than Bryant “Big Country” Reeves? Discuss…
— If you havent yet, go see Crazy Heart. The Dude abides in a great performance by Jeff Bridges, that should win an Oscar. His portrayal of a broken-down country singer is amazingly well-done and resonated with me throughout. Plus you get the oddity of seeing Colin Farrell sing country music. It is worth a few minutes on this snowy week.
— We embark on our CBSSports.com trip on Thursday. We will have much more about this over the next few days, but if you can please spread the word. We have a new Facebook group for you to follow for KSR here and if you have suggestions or want to communicate about the trip, email us at [email protected] It should be quite a ride.
— Finally, we remember the girl from the Texas-Kansas game last weekend. Well the Texas A&M fans parodied that today with this one:
More all day as we get ready for Mississippi State and the LIVE BLOG at 8:30 pm. Stay tuned….