If you have been around this blog very long, you know what I was doing on Sunday night. With the eyes of the world on Vietnam, I, the Turkey Hunter and Mosley were watching the Miss Universe pageant. In what has become a quarterly tradition (Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss America and Miss Teen USA), Mosley, Turkey Hunter and I watch the parade of candidates, draft our choices and then sit back and see who knows the pageant world the best. Over the years, we have made it into quite a science….our draft order almost always follows very closely with the final order and it is a rarity that someone outside our Top 5 wins. We have become like Kramer on Seinfeld and are hoping to soon be picked as advisors to the stars. If you are thinking about entering a pageant, feel free to rent the KSR staff’s services and we guarantee you at least a spot as Miss Pikeville. The winner of Miss Universe this year was Miss Venezuela, who beat Miss Columbia in the final two, which actually has serious implications in South American geopolitical struggles. Hugo Chavez immediately celebrated by dancing with the proletariat and Turkey Hunter screamed with unabashed glee as he won the contest for the first time in recent years. All in all it was a wonderful time, made even better by getting to hear the best part of the contest (the interview questions) filtered through language and societal barriers. When a random model asked Miss Russia, “do you believe there is still gender discrimination in this world?”, I knew that there is nothing better than pageant season. Viva Venezuela!
To the news….
(1): A relatively slow news weekend, meaning that hopefully people were spending time with their family and friends and enjoying their non-computer lives. I spoke with an individual at UK this week a bit about the summer workouts and specifically, the performance of Josh Harrellson. If you remember earlier in the summer we talked about Josh’s adjustment to the new UK life, and according to the individual I spoke with, it is progressing very well. He has become a valued member of the team, connecting with the other members and reaching out to recruits, all the while showing his talent on the court. This person told me that the staff expects him to be “like the big man Billy had at Texas A&M”, but more athletic and a bit better shooter. They see Harrellson as a guy who can step out and hit the open shot and score at the post. Most importantly, he has lost 15 pounds since arriving on campus and is in much better shape. Expect Harrellson to contend for a starting spot with Perry Stevenson and to make immediate contributions….and if he improves as a defender, the future is very bright for Josh.
(2): On the recruiting side of things, speculation has surfaced that UK is still looking for a player for 2008. The search is for a guard and centers around some worries of a lack of scoring ability from the perimeter, particularly if the Liggins qualification decision turns out negative. A number of names have been floated about, but one person at UK tells me that “there is no magic person.” The staff is still looking at a number of options, including a player who played at a community college last season. If anyone has a guess as to who that is, let me know. UPDATE: The name apparently is Brad Reese from a Community College in Florida.
(3): Lots of you have written me and asked why I didnt write about the controversy with Dick Vitale this week. For those of you that havent heard, Vitale slammed UK a few weeks back for getting a commitment from Michael Avery and then praised Florida last week for a similar commitment from Austin Rivers, the son of Doc Rivers. HE was asked about this by Jerry Tipton and essentially caved and said that he thought both were wrong, never explaining why he originally praised the Florida commitment. The main reason I didnt write about is that I dont think it matters. Vitale is just a voice in the basketball area, one of many. I think it was hypocritical for Dick to write as he did, but I dont think it was out of any malice to UK….I think it was more to the point that he knows Austin Rivers and wanted to praise his commitment….not realizing that he was looking foolish in the process. Dick like the vast majority of us, is not always consistent. He is an old guy who loves basketball and just likes to talk. I think overanalyzing his statements is a bit like getting mad at your great grandfather for telling stories about how it was “back in his day.” He is what he is….ranting about it wont change him. At the end of the day, the only people who cared about this story were UK fans who were (understandably) upset at the hypocrisy. But Vitale’s opinion should be taken with a (large) grain of salt…..a person’s opinion, especially one that is simply a commentator, only matters if you let it matter.
(4): Watch for some movement before the end of the summer on Terrence Boyd’s recruitment. He could very well be the next UK commitment if things continue to progress. That is not a prediction (as I dont have a good connection on Terrence) but is the chatter I have been hearing.
Finally, listen up tonight as Coach Glenn Cyprien and Dominique Ferguson come on my radio show at 8 pm. Then on Wednesday, Billy Gillispie will be joining me as well. It is a big week for us. More media members this week, some football preview looks (real and satirical) and more later today…..