I was saddened when I returned home tonight to read of the death of former David Letterman Show participant, Calvin DeForest. Deforest, who on the old NBC show went by the name Larry “Bud” Melman”, was actually the very first individual ever seen on Letterman’s NBC talk show, opening the first episode with a bit that launched him into stardom. DeForest was a file clerk in New York City, when he was used in a film by a NYU film student and then was discovered by Letterman’s people. As some of you may know, I am a complete Letterman mark and his use of DeForest as the guy in odd situations (later done by his mother, Mujibur and Sarijul and the guy at the deli) was always one of my favorite parts of the show. He sent DeForest to events ranging from political conventions to the Olympics and his infectious joy always made me laugh. He passed away at 85 today. In honor of the guy, here is one of his classic Letterman clips….handing out hot towels to people at the New York Bus Depot:
Onto the news….
(1) For the second consecutive day, the internet was abuzz with news abou the potential termination of all three assistant coaches at the University of Kentucky. For the second consecutive day, the story was once again untrue……or at the very least premature. Tubby Smith told Brett Dawson of the Courier Journal today that his scheduled meeting with Mitch Barnhart on post-season changes has not yet occurred and Smith himself was at the Sweet 16 today for recruiting purposes. However just like the Patterson rumor of yesterday, this may be a case where the story was premature, but not necessarily incorrect. It is an open secret that assistant changes will occur, with the question just being who and how many. For the record, Reggie Hanson was at the tournament as well today, although he was not with Tubby Smith at the time. It is my view that movement on the assistant front will occur next week and that the meeting with Mitch should occur at the end of this week. We will keep you updated.
(2) Today on the Sports Mob, we spoke with Scout.com’s recruiting expert Dave Telep who gave his impressions on Patrick Patterson and where he may or may not be leaning. Telep believes that Patterson will narrow his list very soon (he said maybe in the next couple of days, although Pat’s mom said to me it would be after the McDonalds game) and that the list will certainly include Florida, Duke and then either UK or UVA. I asked him abou this comment and he said that it was strictly his opinion and that it “would not surprise him if Patterson ends up at any of those four schools.” We have speculated occasionally about whether there might be a surprise in the final three announcements, and if so, if Virginia would sneak in. I think that is certainly possible…..but if that happens I think that Duke is the likely team left out of the mix, rather than UK. Absent a call from Tubby Smith saying he will not be here next year, I cant imagine the Pattersons telling Tubby that UK is not in the top three. I still think the final 3 will be UK, UF, Duke. I could be proven wrong, but after my conversations with the Patterson family and those close to them, I still think UF and UK are the leaders, with Duke and UVA still in the hunt.
(3) The reason for Tubby and Reggie’s trip to the Sweet 16 was to see Scott County’s Matt Walls who is considering whether to walk-on at Kentucky next year. Now I always make clear that one should never get too excited about walk-ons as they rarely contribute huge amounts to a program (however there are exceptions). But Walls would be a TREMENDOUS walk-on pickup, especially now that he has started to receive offers from schools such as Wake Forest. I am confident that UK should not offer a scholarship to Matt Walls…..however if UK can get him to walk-on, it will be one of the better recruiting coups in that area than the Cats have had in a long time.
(4) How does Stephon Pettigrew not get invited to the Derby Classic? Seriously. This kid is 45 minutes from Louisville, could end up at UK and he doesnt get invited…..but Ty Proffit does? This is the same group that didnt invite Michael Porter last year. Sometimes I just dont get it.
(5) Watched the UK cheerleader show tonight…..cool to see some faces of girls I have gotten to know, but it needs to ramp up the energy to keep me interested. You have to get to know the people on it to care about them…..and now all we know is the faculty advisor who looks like the teacher on South Park. As soon as that was over, I watched the NIT (which I have followed WAY too closely)…..Air Force stormed the court. I realize that the win was big for the program, but you dont storm the court in the NIT Quarterfinals…..you just dont.
If you havent read it yet, scroll down and read Rob Gidel’s comments on Tubby. Different than mine, but still very well thought out. Check it out. Keep it tuned here during the day for updates as they come in……