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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Matt Salsberg’s Monday News and Views

 Coming off a weekend where a pair of sometimes overlooked sports – golf and soccer – took the biggest stage, it’s a man playing one of the world’s great fake sports (second only to NASCAR) that earns our recognition this morning.  Matt Salsberg is currently 70th in the standings at the World Series of Poker, which essentially matters little to any of us.  But there’s more to Matt Salsberg’s bio than just poker.  He’s a writer on the show Weeds and is a former producer of Entourage.  And that’s where it gets interesting.  Why is he a former producer and not a current producer?  Well, he took a dump in the creator’s personal bathroom and was fired.  And that’s pretty much it.  This guy is getting his picture on the site because he got fired over poop. 

Now a few UK notes…

 – A few weeks ago, when we were just starting to get desperate for things to write about 10-15 times per day, we started looking at some best case/worst case scenarios for individual players in 2011-12.  The first group we looked at was the freshmen and, hold your excitement, here comes a glance at the returning rotation players.  Yes, that means we’ve got a Hood/Poole/Polson/Vargas/Beckham grouping coming soon.  We’re saving it for Sweeps Week, of course.  Anyway, without further ado, here we go:

Darius Miller

Best Case:  Consistency.  It’s been the elusive goal for Darius Miller’s first three seasons as a Cat and his final year in Lexington gives him another chance to finally add it to his repertoire.  On the court, continuing to be a threat offensively both on the block and on the perimeter, as well as an improved defensive presence would be a great success.  If Miller can do those things, while serving as a point forward for a handful of possessions, he might just position himself to be the sixth Cat off the board in the NBA Draft.

Worst Case:  Well, pretty much the opposite.  Inconsistency.  There’s a chance that Darius Miller won’t start next season, though I still think that’s a longshot, and even if that’s not the case, he’s going to be rotating between wing spots with Michael Gilchrist and Doron Lamb.  Miller finally looked comfortable late last season with himself and confident in his role after being ruined by Gillispie.  If he starts fighting mental battles over missed shots or shared minutes, it’s going to be tough to get him back on track again.

Terrence Jones

Best Case:  Jones does what Calipari wants and finds a way to make the same jump that Derrick Williams did as a sophomore.  If Jones can find a way to get himself playing like he did early in the season, when he looked to be just playing instead of thinking, his production will be at an All-American level.  He’ll probably be seeing fewer shots, but he can still improve his scoring by making more efficient use of them and getting to the free throw line.  Maybe he’ll use his right hand.  Doing these things while still scoring the ball while facing the basket can put him in the top-10 and maybe even the top-5 of the NBA Draft.

Worst Case:  As seemed to be the case last season, Jones starts over-thinking plays and struggles to be productive while the other players on the court play efficient basketball.  Though Anthony Davis isn’t a prototypical center, he’ll be able to use his length to post up and score inside, giving Jones the opportunity to attack the basket off the dribble.  However, he can’t get caught up in just camping out at the three-point line or burying his head and driving at the basket and heaving it.

Doron Lamb

Best Case:  The development as a big-time scorer continues, either off the bench or as a starter.  He plays some spot minutes as the backup point guard and finally learns how to play defense.  Then, of course, leaves for the NBA Draft.

Worst Case:  The defensive struggles continue and he becomes the team’s weak link, forcing Calipari to put him on the bench for crucial stretches of the game.  Lamb’s jump shot suddenly goes cold and he struggles to give Kentucky a deadly three-point bomber all season.  He still goes pro. 

 – What could end up being a much larger and far-reaching story over the next week broked Sunday when CBS reported that David Salinas, the founder of the Houston Elite AAU program, had committed suicide after the SEC started investigating a Ponzi scheme of his.  Salinas supposedly received millions of dollars in investments from a number of college coaches, including Billy Gillispie, Lute Olson and Scott Drew, which you’d have to assume makes a few eyebrows raise at the NCAA offices in Indy.  For Gillispie’s part, there appears to be no real connection to UK on the surface, though Houston Elite did send Joseph Jones to Texas A&M.  However, Gillispie was not named coach until several months later.  Ultimately, there could be no wrongdoing by any of the coaches and they might just be victims of their own stupidity, but I think we can all be certain that the NCAA is going to take a look at this little situation.  And then they’ll probably send UK a letter for not using the write font size on their banners or something.

 – You know, we’re going to probably need to cool it with the LeBron hating thing.  I’m still amazed at the anti-LeBron push among UK fans and, as we saw again this weekend, King James is going to be tied to UK’s brand for the long run as long as it’s good for business.   The partnership was again on display this weekend when James sported UK shorts in a summer league game.  Guys like me and you probably don’t care.  Kids that want to go to the NBA or look up to James?  It means a lot.  So maybe we should ease off of all of that LeBron hate for now.  If Kentucky signs a deal to wear Christian Laettner Sperrys or Bruce Pearl G-strings, then we can unite in anger.  For now, though, let’s just enjoy the ride.

 – Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke won the British Open Sunday and the great Tom Leach pointed out an interesting tie between Clarke and John Calipari.  Clarke worked to get his mind right this week with sports psychologist Bob Rotella, who is a good friend of Cal’s and made frequent appearances to chat with his Memphis teams and stopped by to talk with his first Kentucky team in March 2010.  We’re reaching out to him right now so we can do something about BTI getting back on track.

That’s it for now.  Make sure you stick around for a big day Monday.  The fun gets going with Kentucky Sports Radio on Talk Radio 1080 at 10am.  Dave Baker is sitting in for Matt and will be joined by Oscar Combs, Jacob Tamme and Evan Daniels.  Make sure you check it out.  In the meantime….I don’t know.  Figure it out.

Article written by Thomas Beisner

18 Comments for Matt Salsberg’s Monday News and Views

  1. mocha
    1:04 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    If Rotella doesn’t help BTI, his new name might be BTPI (Bryan the perpetual intern).
    Please Bob, we need you.

  2. mocha
    1:06 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    In the meantime what?

  3. iWantToGrowUpToBeTheDrewFranklin
    1:45 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    Beez, this red sox rays game is taking forever. Think you can get over there, and have them speed it up? K Thanks

  4. Big Blue Barber
    1:57 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    Why in the world would a UK fan hate Lebron James???? The guy can only do us good…unless morons continue to publically hate him and it expands enough to motivate him to ignore us. Wouldn’t that be worth it…. to “messge board” him away from UK and Cals ability to use another powerful tool to promote the UK brand. Use your collective heads.

  5. jmh1304
    2:10 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    I missed it. I didn’t know KY fans had started hating Lebron. I don’t hate him and he is good friend for the program!

  6. oldkentucky
    2:35 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    I like Lebron.

  7. yellow
    3:27 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    same shit

  8. Buckets
    3:42 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t hate LeBron. I don’t love him, either. Do I like him? Well, I don’t know him so I’m reserving judgement till we meet. I’ll tweet him, set up the meeting and let everyone know how it goes. Until then, get off his nuts, people. He did a stupid thing with The Decision. Let it go. Move on. Time heals all wounds.

  9. Anthony
    4:57 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    I am so disappointed that this is not CM PUNK’S MONDAY NEWS AND VIEWS after he beat Cena clean last night for the WWE Championship.

  10. RidgeRunner
    5:40 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    **yawn** – Can’t wait to read the late night post…oh wait, this is the umm…eh….


  11. SexnNursinHomes
    6:44 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    that dude got fired over crappin in his boss’s bathroom? must have been one stinkin ass turd to get fired.

  12. Cristoforouk
    8:23 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    Golf is not a “real sport”. It is more of a skill than a sport. And yes I have played golf.

  13. toilet bowl
    9:09 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    Believe me. Just look at that guy. He is a terd making maching.

  14. Jones Returns
    9:11 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    Once again an overly negative piece about Terrence Jones. So ignorant. Can’t stand reading half the shit you guys write about Terrence. Even when you guys try and write something positive somehow you manage to find a way to come across negative. Sort of like how mast writers write pieces about UK…they pretend like you’re writing something positive or unbiased, but really take little jabs showing they obviously don’t care for UK.

    “Does what Calapari wants”
    “Maybe he’ll use his right hand”
    “Top 10 maybe even the top 5”
    “burying his head and driving at the basket and heaving it”

    I can’t wait until Jones wrecks on people all damn year and then goes NO. 1 overall in the draft. Can’t wait to laugh at all the positive comments about Jones this year and listen to everybody act like they called it all along. You guys really just don’t get it…

  15. Al's Indycats
    9:11 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    12, skill and a ton of freaking luck, I took my wife for her first outting because we couldn’t find a fourth, and she dropped at least 2 40 foot putts where we could even par on, then drank most of beer!

  16. toilet bowl
    9:39 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    yeah i think jones gets a bad rap too. He was only a freshman and I thought he put up very good freshman numbers. Was there too much hype about him when he came in or what? Now that kiddG and davis are here, he will be awesome this year.

  17. Curious
    9:51 am July 18, 2011 Permalink

    So…. When is all these former players supposed to be on campus for all the pick up games ??

  18. NBA league pass
    12:47 pm July 18, 2011 Permalink

    14) I agree. Everyone around here seems to be really negative on Jones. The comments section at times last year was brutal. He is the KEY next year to us winning a championship.

    About Lebron…he doesn’t play for UK now and did not play for UK in the past. We don’t owe this guy $hit as far as I’m concerned. His agent probably told him to wear UK shorts around in hopes he sells a few more #6 jerseys to UK fans (since nobody outside of Miami can stand him at this point). People don’t like him because he’s an arrogant prick. And a loser. And he tried to win a championship the “easy” way and failed at that too. I don’t think a player who never went to college wearing UK shorts is going to influence any high school kid’s college choice at all. John Wall, Cousins…yes. Lebron, who cares?