I am generally a big fan of the British Open. I studied for a bit in England and while there, took the journey over to Carnoustie in 1999 to watch Jean Vande Velde choke away a tournament like none other. Since then, I have always made it a point to watch as much of the Open as possible, because I like the country, the courses and the weather, all making it a different than traditional golf experience. Throw in the phenomenal stories of Greg Norman and Tom Watson the last two years and it has been must-see tv. Not this year. The British Open may have been the worst major tournament I can ever remember. With the exception of part of Friday when I was hoping against hope that John Daly could stay in contention, there was absolutely nothing of interest about this year’s edition. It had the worst combination of boring storylines possible for a major championship….the players were no-names, it wasnt close and there were no interesting characters. The best anyone could hope for was the story of the black caddie and white player from South Africa, which would have been a huge deal if it were 20 years earlier. All in all, it was a terrible sports weekend, which is fine since I was home for almost none of it. Three of the last four major winners have been YE Yang, Graeme Mcdowell and Ooooooosthuizen. Ugh.
To the news around UK land:
(1): The one story of consequence this weekend was the speech given by John Robic in Ohio in which he said that Darnell Dodson will be on the basketball team this fall. This is the most definitive statement we have heard from anyone around UK on the subject and suggests that rumors of his dismissal in the last couple of weeks were incorrect. The Dodson saga is a bizarre one, as everyone I spoke to close to the program after the season universally said he would not be back…and some even claimed he had already been kicked off the team. But then I think there was a change of heart and his status was left up in the air. As of today, we are left with Dodson on the team, competing with Doron Lamb for the “sharpshooter” role next season. Whether Dodson will reach the potential he had given to him coming in still remains to be seen. But if Robic speaks for UK, he will be in Blue and White next year.
(2): Late tonight, we got word of a comment by the UK coach that used to be a summer rite of passage in the Tubby Smith era. John Calipari tweeted out that the team was going to press more next season, a statement he has made in the past few weeks, citing the desire to change the gameplan to his players. Calipari doesnt often get enough credit for his change in gameplan, something we saw a GREAT deal last season as he shifted his offense to the pain, playing a post-up game for Cousins and Patterson that he never really did a great deal at Memphis. Now he is going back to running, shooting threes and DDO. Expect the armchair coaches across the state to have an opinion on this one way or the other, probably immediately after the Canada trip.
(3): UK players continue to win awards, even those awards that we didnt know existed. Demarcus Cousins was named T-Mobile NBA Rookie of the Month which is odd to win in July, but hey who is arguing. Then a bit later in the night, John Wall was named NBA Vegas Summer League MVP, meaning that the player who is the Rookie of the Month was not the MVP of the Summer League…go figure. But both awards were won by UK guys and what is clear is that while we may have some tough times understanding what the meaning is of the awards that UK players win, Louisville fans dont have that problem at all.
(4): Remember Billy Gillispie? He coached here a few years ago and left quite an imprint. Part of that imprint was on a roster that as the years go on, ends up in random places. Last year John Wall was the PG at Kentucky, but if Clyde had been here, it would have been a Konner Tucker/GJ Vilarino duo. Tucker you may remember, quit Wake Forest halfway through the year, while Vilarino went to Gonzaga and didnt play much. So what did he do today? Vilarino is transferring to Appalachian State, where he will play after sitting out a year. So think about that for a second fans….we had the best PG in America, and one of the best all-time at UK (maybe THE best) running the point last year….or we could have had a kid who isnt playing basketball and an Appalachian State transfer. Wow how things changed.
(5): Finally, this weekend Eric Bledsoe released a “tour” his Facebook account which seems really random and had to be an idea from an overeager Clippers’ PR person. The clip is below and is worth watching if you want to know the specifics on things like why he changed his profile picture. I think KSR needs to do a video like this and say, “I changed the picture to the one that is there now so people wouldnt keep asking me who the girl is that was sitting on my lap” or so Drew can say, “it was the goofiest picture I could find that day.
Later today I hope to finally put out the Orton and Cousins stuff….it has been a busy few days and we havent done it yet…hopefully it will be today. Also a shout out to Chad Sanders, whose birthday was Sunday….Chad was part of the UK basketball program last year and is a great guy who needs some birthday love from the KSR fans. More all day…