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Kevin Richardson’s Wednesday News & Views

Kevin really likes the Cats.

If you ever want to see people my age get into a ridiculous debate, ask them this simple question: NSYNC or Backstreet?

I was always a Backstreet gal, thanks not only to my unabashed love for “I Want It That Way,” but also because two of the band members were from Kentucky (always been reason enough for me to like someone). Brian Litrell and his cousin Kevin Richardson grew up in the Bluegrass, and naturally, are pretty big Kentucky fans. Kevin, who played football at Estill County before fine tuning those boy band moves, tweets about the Cats all the time, and also attended bowl games back when we went to bowl games, including a memorable Music City Bowl trip a few years ago.

Since the band’s heyday back in the early 2000’s, Richardson has dabbled in acting, modeling, and even started a solo career. He’s married with a child, and recently rejoined the Backstreet Boys after a six-year absence. The band is currently working on their eighth (!) album. Raise your hand if that makes you feel old.

Happy 41st birthday, Kevin. Just for you, these news and views will be larrrrrger than life.


Tuesday was a huge day on the recruiting front, with several bits of news coming out about the top recruits on the Cats’ radar. Between the Harrison Twins’ upcoming announcement. Andrew Wiggins coming to Big Blue Madness, and Julius Randle’s decision to drop Duke and UNC from his list, you almost feel like the pieces of the puzzle are finally coming together for what could be another monster class (especially if Wiggins reclassifies). Let’s break it down.

— Let’s start with the Harrison Twins. With the big announcement scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday on ESPNU, the rumor mill has gone into overdrive, with snippets coming out to support both Maryland and the Cats. First was the news that Maryland will conduct an in-home visit at the Harrison’s on Wednesday, which we interpreted as a last ditch effort by Mark Turgeon and his staff to sway the twins’ decision. Next came USA Today’s Eric Prisbell’s tweets about a conversation he had with the twins’ father, Aaron Harrison, Sr., which played up the family’s close ties with Turgeon and Under Armour officials, whom he told Prisbell were the only people allowed to contact his sons. Just as we were all getting worked up over how creepy it was that a father would rather his sons talk to a shoe rep than their potential future coaches, Harrison Sr. refuted the remarks, telling Next Cats’ Ben Roberts that both Turgeon and Calipari have his sons’ numbers. Also, Cal visited the family twice during the contact period, once more than originally thought.

So after all of that, where do the Cats stand? All signs seem to indicate that the twins want to attend Kentucky, but their father’s remarks and ties to Maryland (close relationship with Turgeon, the family’s AAU connections to Under Armour, family in the Maryland area) cast the inevitable last minute cloud of doubt. Harrison Sr. made it clear that his sons have made this decision on their own and he won’t influence it either way. Let’s hope it stays that way over the next two days. #twinning

— If all of that wasn’t exciting enough, we also got word that 2013/2014 wunderkind Andrew Wiggins will attend Big Blue Madness. Rob Fulford, his high school coach, said Wiggins told the Kentucky staff he would attend the event three weeks ago, which has to give you a good feeling about that Cats’ chances at landing the top player in the nation.

As of now, here’s a list of recruits who will attend Big Blue Madness:

2013: Harrison Twins (if they choose KY), Marcus Lee, Derek Willis (committed)

2014: Andrew Wiggins, Cliff Alexander, JaQuan Lyle

Get your chants ready.

Julius Randle got in on the recruiting fun on Tuesday by cutting Duke and UNC from his list, leaving the Cats, NC State, Florida, Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. This signals a huge swing in Kentucky’s direction, as many saw Duke as Randle’s leader until recently. Interestingly, Randle’s mom says it wasn’t Roy Williams’ box of thirty rings that left an impression; it was his advice “to be upfront with the schools” that he’s not considering as strongly “so they can move on.” Thanks for the advice, Roy!

After rereading the USA Today piece about Randle’s in-home visits and all the good reviews coming out of his visit to Lexington for the alumni game, you have to feel the Cats are the definite front-runnier.


— With the season only a week and a half away, the preseason polls are pouring in, with most putting the Cats in the top 3-5 range. Jay Bilas puts the Cats at #3, behind Louisville and Indiana, while Mike DeCourcey of The Sporting News puts them at #4 behind Indiana, Louisville and Ohio State (huh?).

— Along with the polls came the previews. ESPN had a gaggle of posts on Tuesday previewing this year’s team, all of which came down to the same thesis: this team is young and may or may not be able to win the title. If that sounds vague to you, you’re not alone. Like all of Cal’s team at this point, this squad is mostly a mystery due to its youth and inexperience. But, like previous Cal teams, you can expect a strong defense and a return to basics early on in order to prepare for games against Maryland and Duke. Most importantly, Cal wants fans to stop comparing this year’s team to last year’s, in terms of expectations and talent. Nerlens Noel is NOT Anthony Davis, nor are Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin the second coming of MKG. Got it?

— On Tuesday night, a lot of you probably watched “Broke,” the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about pro athletes who have squandered their money over the years. I’m still waiting to catch the replay, but if the response on Twitter is any indication, it was outstanding. One of the athletes featured was Antoine Walker, who the documentary said earned $110 million over his 13-year NBA career. In 2010, Walker filed for bankruptcy in Miami with assets of $4.3 million and debts of $12.7 million. If that’s not a walking ad for financial responsibility, I don’t know what is. Thankfully, it appears everyone in the Wildcat Lodge was watching:


Maxwell Smith underwent surgery on his torn ligament and tweeted that everything went smoothly. If it’s determined that Smith will be out for the season, he will be eligible for a medical redshirt since he has only played in 30% of UK’s games this season (the NCAA rounds up from 3.6 games to 4 games in cases like these).

— Who will take his place against Mississippi State? Jalen Whitlow will most likely get the starting nod, but coaches have said fellow freshman Patrick Towles will see his fair share of playing time. Both took first-team snaps at practice on Tuesday, and although the thought of sending a true freshman out against an SEC defense is daunting, Randy Sanders called it an “exciting” challenge. Exciting…inevitable…po-tay-toe po-tah-toe.

— But how will they fare? “I think we set a record for knucklehead calls today.” Is that this week’s “he didn’t look God-awful?”

— Yes, it was a typo after all. Vegas got their act together and named the Cats a 10-point underdog to Mississippi State.

— Finally, I’m covering the Women’s Basketball Clinic Wednesday night at the Craft Center. If you’re there, be sure to come by and say hello. Also, be smart and wear comfy shoes. I still feel bad for the girl who had to do drills in stilettos last year.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

20 Comments for Kevin Richardson’s Wednesday News & Views

  1. UKSupporter76
    11:08 pm October 2, 2012 Permalink

    wunderkind. not kid.

  2. BigBlueBoobies
    11:12 pm October 2, 2012 Permalink

    has Marcus Lee already commited???

  3. Advice from Pops
    11:14 pm October 2, 2012 Permalink

    Well learned gentlemen. Butt fear the alcohol enema.

  4. Bill
    11:38 pm October 2, 2012 Permalink

    It showed Antoine but it showed alot more mashburn, and his success

  5. SexnNursinHomes
    11:40 pm October 2, 2012 Permalink

    I bet I’ve ripped over 200 farts today. Seriously feels like prison rape when I sit down. Glad the recruiting news is heating up. The Twins and Randle. 3 of the top 5. Go gett’em Cal!

  6. Yeah
    11:57 pm October 2, 2012 Permalink

    @5 You need to lay off the Taco Bell or you’ll have to change your name to SexnFuneralHomes….

  7. Cokely
    12:24 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    30 for 30 was excellent as per usual

  8. SeaCat
    1:11 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Mrs please squeeze Matt’s you know what’s
    and get him to explain his Wiggin’s reclass
    tweets from today.
    Squeeze hard, very hard…

  9. I Say
    1:24 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Mashburn is a G. Owns a lot of car dealerships in kentucky with Pitino. and im pretty sure he owns a fast food places too

  10. Loado
    1:32 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    9. I know he owns 37 outback steakhouses and papa johns. Man is makin bank

  11. Labowski
    6:26 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Sometimes, Tyler, it’s nice to have that feminine perspective here in the sports world. Backstreet and a bunch of dancing boys that practice in front of mirrors is not what we want to celebrate.

  12. Pabloco
    7:19 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    How is Under Armour’s involvement in all this in any way legal? I am sure Nike and Adidas have the same “behind the scenes” influence on other kids but it seems that Harrison Sr. is happy to give UA a seat at the table.

  13. Bakert
    7:47 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Two things:

    1. No matter your age or gender, if you ever seriously debated one of those “groups” (NO way they were “bands”) over another you should be forced to have an alcohol butt enema.

    2. Walker is a walking ad for financial “irresponsibility.” Mashburn would be a walking ad for financial responsibility.

  14. just saying
    8:29 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Cal usually goes into full blown defense mode when he discovers a player he has recruited goes somewhere else. Because I havent seen any “this program isnt for everyone” tweets, Im pretty confident the Harrison twins have already chosen UK

  15. Wildcatgal
    9:02 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Did I miss the part of the show last night where they talked about many of those divorces/settlements were a result of the athletes sleeping with anything that has a pulse? Jordan’s widespread infidelity was well chronicled-do people think Juanita should have just faded into the background or just ignored it in order to keep the lifestyle she was accustomed to? I would have cut more than the mans assets if he did that to me 😉

  16. Bumfuzzled
    9:12 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    If Max Smith has played in 4 games, that is 33% of the schedule. Explain a little better how he will get a medical redshirt year.

  17. FinancialPeace
    9:30 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    There probably was a day when Antoin Walker made fun of Mashburn’s spending habits the way Matt Jones makes fun of Dave Ramsey.

  18. schwing
    10:30 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    rick minter’s girlfriend going to dinner with the group on a recruiting trip is a secondary violation.

    an under armour executive being the only third-party with access to the harrison twins’ cell phones is no kind of violation.


  19. Dr. Evil
    12:04 pm October 3, 2012 Permalink

    LOL @ Julius Mays 10 X 100 = 1000 Mwahahahahahahaha

  20. Duke Sucks
    12:33 pm October 3, 2012 Permalink

    #15 I agree some men do cheat and deserve what they get. I also think if a woman cheats she sould be entitled to nothing. To many people getting married for other reason the to be with each other. I think the biggest problem with these players going broke is most come from poor backgrounds. When they do get that much money they for the first time can get things they always wanted. Also most want to take care of their mom and dad take it a little to far. I think Cal is way ahead on this issue he wants to give his players classes on how to manage money. NCAA should step up and allow for these classes collage is supposed to be getting you ready for your career not just to get a piece of paper