Good morning, my KSR brothers and sisters, and welcome to the your Wednesday edition of your News and Views, honoring the McDonald’s All-American game. The 31st edition of the game takes place Wednesday evening in Columbus and features a number of UK prospects. Brandon Knight, CJ Leslie, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb and Josh Selby all remain uncommitted and in the UK conversation, making tonight’s game the closest thing to must-watch television for UK fans since 2004, when Rajon Rondo, Joe Crawford and Randolph Morris suited up. Even last year, of UK’s four superstar freshmen (no disrespect to Jon Hood), only DeMarcus Cousins played in the game. I tend to think the game is a bit overrated, as anything that has awarded an MVP to Shawn Bradley should be, but I still tune in every year. I don’t expect this year to be much different.
– Well, right out of the gate, we might as well jump into the sad news. Matthew Mitchell’s ladies fell to Oklahoma in the Elite Eight of the women’s tournament. Despite a herculean effort from Victoria Dunlap, who went for 31 points and 13 boards on the day she was named Third Team All American, and a 17-4 run to start the game, the Cats didn’t have enough to hold on and fell to the Sooners, 88-68, shortly after I made a post celebrating that start to the game. Often lost in the shuffle of an outstanding season from the men and a coaching change in football, the season the women just put together was nothing short of spectacular as they went from being predicted to finish 11th in the SEC to the Elite Eight. With four starters returning and the nation’s 15th ranked class coming in, the future appears to be very bright for the “other” Kentucky basketball team. Congrats to them on a great season.
– The hottest message board story of Tuesday was the speculation that recruits are being told that 5 guys are going pro from John Calipari’s first UK team. CJ Leslie told reporters that he’s being told there are five guys jumping to the NBA and Doron Lamb went a step further, saying that Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe are going pro and he heard it from UK’s head coach himself. I guess we’ll know for sure in the near future…
– Another big buzz topic on Tuesday was a little media slip-up from Rivals’ #1 player in the class of 2010. Brandon Knight used the word “we” when speaking of the Cats, saying “I feel like if we have a good group of guys come, we’d also change the program”. Knight then said “If I come there…” and learned the lesson everyone that’s ever written for KSR knows all too well. It better be right the first time, or else you’re going to get called out for it repeatedly.
– The social star of the McDonald’s proceedings continues to be Josh Selby, who followed up comments on Monday saying that he could play on the same team as Doron Lamb next year by saying on Tuesday that he might play with Brandon Knight next year. He also said that he might visit UK next week. He’s obviously trying to stay in as many headlines as possible so people stop calling him “Shelby” on message boards.
– In another blend between the men’s and women’s program, UK target Terrence Jones says UK commit Jennifer O’Neill has been working on him to come to UK. Is it too soon to say that Matthew Mitchell’s McDonald’s All-American “gets it”?
– In former coach news, Tubby Smith said he is not leaving for Oregon and says that he has no idea where the rumors are starting. Meanwhile, one Billy Clyde Gillispie remains the favorite for the Houston job after being passed up for his old position at UTEP. Scott Rigot wants to talk to you about a business opportunity and it’s not a pyramid scheme. He promises.
– My favorite overlooked moment from Monday night’s dunk contest in Columbus was Gator commit Patric Young and his hair flair coming out and doing the Gator Chomp for the entire crowd, earning boos and then throwing three balls off the rim so violently, his Sprite commercial would have come with a TV14 rating. He landed flat on his butt on one and I thought he threw out his back on another one. The Birdman liveth. And he’s flying south to Gainesville.
– I really tried. I really did. I just don’t think I can watch Justified ever again. Though I continue to be amazed at the amount of crime that takes place on Tates Creek Road, it’s absolutely horrible. No way around it. Had they stuck with the same “childhood friend turns skinhead” angle from the first episode, it could have worked really well. I can’t do the random bumbling criminal bit every week. Justified, this is a song for you.
– As you get yourself all set for the Final Four, make sure you check out what Tomlin wrote previewing this weekend’s games over on CBSSports.com. It’s by far the best thing we’ve had on the “One Blogging Moment” blog yet and is well worth your time.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day as we get you all set for a glimpse of the future Wednesday night in Columbus. It’s going to be a good day. See you in a few…