Its been a long, but productive weekend as we move ever closer to leaving for Canada this Friday. Today’s birthday could have been that of Mel Tillis (who bizarrely was mentioned twice at the NFL Hall of Fame Ceremony), but I realized long ago that my obsession with 1970s country music is a lonely one. So we instead focus on one of the early KSR favorites, the great Coury Flurry. Mark Coury arrived like a gift from heaven for KSR, looking like Napoleon Dynamite and playing with an exceptional awkwardness that always made us smile. He was the brains of the team, compiling a 4.0 GPA and then finding the court often as Billy Clyde made him a starter, a move that is still awesome in its craziness to this day. He transferred to Cornell, and then bizarrely found himself playing against UK in the Sweet 16. Everything about Mark Coury is great and as he enters his Senior year, we will follow him every step of the way here. Coury Flurry….Happy Birthday.
Quick hitters tonight:
— UK Football Fan Day brought a crowd of around 6,000 to Commonwealth Stadium. It was generally a good showing, but the Defense was apparently a few steps ahead of the offense (which is to be expected). The one consistent theme from early reports is that Mike Hartline seemed to have some more juice on his throws. A veteran UK football watcher told me that he followed the QBs all night and ranked them Hartline-Newton-Mossakowski at this point, likely also the order from the staff. They now disappear, never to be seen again until the Louisville game, including by the media.
— At Media Day on Friday, I was impressed with Morgan Newton off the field. He was by far the funniest in the interview sessions and showed a personality that I hadnt seen in the past. I think he has the potential to be a fan favorite off the field before he is done here. Oh yeah, and he said he liked my sunglasses…that gets you far in my book.
— As you read on here earlier today, Elliott Porter, a 2010 LSU commitment visited UK this weekend for Fan Day. Porter was part of the “Les Miles Cant Count” class at LSU, in which he took too many players for the spots available, causing them to have to send Porter packing, even though he had already entered school. Gregg Doyel wrote a GREAT column here today on this very practice and how hypocritical it can be from coaches. But LSU’s loss could be UK’s gain as the kid tries to decide where he will enroll this week. He visits Oregon on Monday and then we likely get a decision…would be a huge get for UK.
— A little word about Sunday night tv. Many of you are watching “Entourage” and I will grant you that it has been “ok” this season, as opposed to “terrible” the last two. But if you dont watch “Mad Men”, I dont know what to tell you. I spent the weekend catching up on all of Season 3 and Season 4 and it is truly is a great show. The last three episodes of Season 3 are as good as you will find on non-HBO television. Get caught up, watch it and then come and thank me…and if you REALLY like it, talk to me about it sometime if we ever meet. No one I know watches it and it bums me out.
— Calipari gave the basketball team today off, but there will be two practices on Monday, as they move closer to leaving for Canada on Friday. While in Canada, there are no restrictions on practice and the staff is using this opportunity to get valuable teaching time in. This is an eager group to learn and this trip is going to be beyond valuable for thi steam in the long run.
— We spent the last four days obsessing about the Anthony Davis Jr-Chicago Times story and at this point, little remains to be said. The times published another story today in which they felt the need to say that Michael Boatright, another recruit, said that he heard about the Davis story on ESPN. I have no idea why this is relevant or even what the point of the story was, but it further illustrates that this isnt going away. This will be a big week, as we see if Davis Jr. wil sue. I personally dont think its the best idea, but we may have gone so far down the road that it could be inevitable.
— One person who seemed to have a very good weekend was Michael Gilchrist, the top-ranked 2011 UK commitment who was in town this weekend. Gilchrist tweeted all weekend about how much he loved being in Lexington, how great of a Coach that Calipari was during his practices and how much he enjoyed hanging out with his future teammates at the Lodge. You can tell that this kid wants to be in Lexington as much as anyone imaginable and that he bleeds Blue already. If you are a fan, how can you not like that?
— Not sure how many Nascar fans are out there, but whether you like the sport or not, make sure and read this New York Times Magazine profile of Dale Earnhardt from Sunday’s edition. Earnhardt comes off as a driver who simply likes to have fun with life and enjoy himself, potentially at the expense of being a great race car driver. I find that interesting….is it so bad if an athlete doesnt care about greatness like we think they should, and simply wants to have fun? Thats how Little E certainly is…but is in part why so many of the fans have turned on him in recent years.
Finally, I do want to pass on my condolences to the family of Charlie Cassis, who passed away on Friday in Louisville. Charlie was on the UK Athletic Board for a number of years and was a huge supporter of UK sports throughout his life. I worked with Charlie for two years at Frost, Brown, Todd and got to know him a bit while I was there. He was always unfailingly kind to me and was a big supporter of my early efforts in the sports world, telling me once that he went he liked the blog because “it looks like an old broken-down shoe” (I think he meant that as a compliment). Charlie had a long and distinguished legal career and his accomplishments are as strong as any attorney in the state. But he also was a gentleman and one that never stopped being supportive of me personally, and the UK program he loved. The final time I saw him was last season, after a UK win when he smiled at me at Rupp Arena and said, “hey Matt, you were right about what you said…I love Big Cuz!” Charlie was 72 and my prayers go out to his family and friends.
More all day….