It can be hard to keep up with all the changing trends in Kentucky sports these days. Therefore, in order to keep you informed on the latest happenings in the Big Blue Nation, I chart the trends of the week, from basketball to football to every ridiculous little thing in between. Keep up with what’s hot and what’s not with KSR’s Trend Watch!
Rising faster than Kevin Stallings’ cholesterol count
The Andrew Wiggins Rumor Mill — In the past week, I’ve heard about a million rumors about Andrew Wiggins, the funniest and most outlandish being that Wiggins made Bill Self, Roy Williams, and Leonard Hamilton all participate in a conference call to deliver their final pitches, and things got so awkward that one coach hung up when he heard Andrew laughing on his end. Now, I wasn’t in the room, so I can’t verify that didn’t happen, but come on. This recruitment has turned into the saga of the season, and the day it’s over, whether he picks the Cats or not, will be a relief. (That being said, please pick Kentucky, Andrew.)
The UK/UofL Rivalry — This week, Russ Smith announced he’s coming back for his senior season, which means Louisville will return most of its National Championship squad. While Russ wasn’t as vital to the Cards as Peyton Siva or Gorgui Dieng, who are both gone, his return does mean that Kentucky and Louisville will be the irrefutable #1 and #2 teams in the country going in to next season. With both teams at full force, the rivalry will be better than ever, and December 28th, the nation’s eyes will be on Rupp Arena for what will be a showdown for the ages.
Now, to me, these look like one of the pairs of cheap reading glasses my dad buys at the drug store, but if Willie’s wearing them, I guess they’re cool.
Cal’s swag — With the best recruiting class in history coming in and several players deciding to return, Cal’s got his groove back. And that’s even without Andrew Wiggins. With all the ingredients he needs to make a Championship squad, Cal is no longer the depressed, disheveled shadow of himself we saw at times last season. The tie is back on and he’s ready to roll.
The Ohio Pipeline — Mark Stoops and company are making major strides in Ohio, one of the most football fertile states in the nation. That’s due in large part to Vince Marrow, Stoops’ childhood friend from Youngstown, Ohio, who has lived in four parts of the state and has connections throughout. Marrow’s recruiting prowess is getting some national notice, and several major recruits from the state are rumored to have Kentucky at the top of their list. I didn’t fully realize how big of a player UK was in the state until I listened to part of the Ohio State Spring Game on the radio and heard the commentators discussing why Urban Meyer decided to have it at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. One of the reasons? Trying to stave off Kentucky’s recruiting surge in the area.
Matthew Mitchell — We have praised the man more than sliced bread on this site, but for very good reason. Mitchell participated in a parody video for the CATSPYs along with Cal and Mark Stoops about a mysterious magic wand. His appearance at the end is more proof that he’s friggin awesome.
Falling like snow on cedars
Cancer — Last night, Digger Phelps announced that he has bladder cancer. We’ve given Digger a LOT of grief over the past few years, but wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Good luck Digger, and get well soon. Cancer sucks.
Tattoos — If you haven’t seen it yet (or have conveniently blocked it from your memory), Rick Pitino followed through on his promise to get a tattoo to commemorate UofL’s National Championship. Pictures of the tatt (and Pitino’s old liver-spotted back) made the rounds on Friday morning, and I unfortunately saw them after I had eaten breakfast. Props to Pitino for going through with it, I suppose, but his transformation to Dirty Bird is complete. If there’s any Kentucky blue blood left running through those spider veins, it’s halfway down 64W with a black and mild in one hand and a 40 in the other.
In-home and off campus visits — Wednesday marked the end of the recruiting period, which means that coaches can’t visit recruits in their homes or off campus until September. That’s plenty of time for the mammas of the class of 2014 to perfect their baked goods for Cal and crew.
Safety in Waddy — Who knew Waddy was such a dangerous place? Apparently a humanlike figure that also resembles a dog is terrorizing the town of Waddy, Kentucky. Dubbed “the Waddy Werewolf” by locals, the creature is responsible for mauling goats, sheep and cattle. Waddy isn’t just a place with a nice Flying J gas station anymore; it’s a danger zone.
TREND OF THE WEEK: Mitch Barnhart’s dancing
I could (and have) watch this for hours. Happy Friday, guys.