Sometimes an idea seems so simple when you first hear of it that your initial reaction is “how in the world did I not think of that?” Take the notion of the jump shot in basketball. For almost 30 years during the early basketball days, no one jumped when they shot the basketball….the set shot was the rage and players made basketball a game perfectly suited for the Mark Courys of the world. But then one day, a player jumped and all of a sudden, his shot was harder to block, he was able to get closer to the basket around the rim and a new world was created. Just like that basketball went from a Coury game to Dwight Howard game and the slam dunk contest became much more entertaining than in years past (when only Shagari Alleyne could win). Jumping on a basketball shot….a simple discovery that revolutionized an entire mode of thinking.
While the person that invented the jump shot is unknown (oddly Al Gore often lays claim to it), we do know the originator of another “Duh!” belief, the realization that the Earth rotates around the Sun. Thanks to Nikolaus Copernicus (who would be celebrating his birthday today if he was not 535 and dead), we realize the notion of heliocentrism and the understanding that Earth isnt the center of the universe, but rather is one measly spot on the vast spectrum of space. This discovery now seems simple….heck just look up in the sky and even Rashad Carruth might be able to figure it out….but at the time it was revolutionary. When Copernicus published the book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (the “Dont Sweat the Small Stuff and Its All Small Stuff” of its day), modern astronomy began and the Scientific Revolution hit Europe with a wave only matched by the fad of the “Copernicus” hair style. We now take such understanding for granted, but think about how long humans were on Earth thinking that the Universe was Earth-centric and that our planet was all that mattered. With one writing Copernicus changed that and modern science began. So while you are out today getting your Suniata Gaines on, remember Copernicus….he may not have the suave moustache of Dennis Felton, but he is important nonetheless.
To the news…..
(1) GEORGIA, OH GEORGIA: Tonight is one of my favorite games of the year and not just because Johnny the Bruce’s famous Annual Pre-game Basketball reception is taking place. No tonight is Dennis Felton and the Dogs in Rupp, which means a coach in a great suit, Dave Bliss’s ugliness close up and the always present “That guy plays Division I basketball?” question about the end of the bench players. For a team that is in the SEC and has somewhat of a quality head coach, Georgia never seems to have a roster with more than 7 guys who can play and has yet to go through a season without playing 5-10 walk-ons. Tonight also marks the usually awful “we beat you at your place, so how can you legitimately think you can win at our place” game that often ends in a rout that leaves all parties embarrassed. I actually expect the Dawgs to play ok tonight, but I see Ramel ready to get some revenge after his injury in Athens and a 10 point victory for the Cats. Jodie Meeks should play, but is experiencing some pain and the rest of the team is a go. A full roster for a game….will wonders never cease?
(2) BUD MACKEY?: At times trying to understand this Spring’s UK recruiting has been like trying to follow a Dennis Miller analogy….the more you try to grasp, the less you comprehend. Tonight Billy Clyde said the Cats need to pick up a big scoring wing player and most thought that meant that Scotty Hopson was the target of the comment. But rumblings are also coming that UK might be looking at Bud Mackey, yes that Bud Mackey…the young man who was arrested for a drug offense and has been dropped from his scholarship offer at Indiana….a school not exactly on the recruiting front line of cleanliness at this time. Mackey’s arrest always took me off guard as he seemed like a likable kid and today his Myspace site (which is where all the REAL news comes from these days) says “Kentucky Wildcats Here I Come.” Now the meaning of this could of course be wide and many are obviously jumping to conclusions to think that he is certainly now a Cat. But UK did once try and get involved with Bud and he is close to some on the team. If Mackey is given a chance by UK coaches, what would that mean? He is a local kid but one that comes with a LOT of baggage. Is he worth the risk….that is a question that may be hotly debated in coming weeks.
(3) RICK PITINO: I will freely admit that I simply cannot take Rick Pitino at this time in my life. Yes I love what he did at Kentucky and yes I respect his abilities. But there is rarely a comment he makes that does not make me want to find a bag in which to relieve my dinner. Here is the latest comment from Rick about the difference between Providence and Kentucky as told to Dick Weiss:
“When I go back to Kentucky, they have the banners from the three Final Fours we went to, but they never show me on the scoreboard. You’re the enemy. Here, I was only here two years, but they keep you as part of the family.”
Yeah Rick you are right….things are so much better at Providence. How sweet those nice folks are to you….Rhode Island is where the kindest and most gentle people in America are and is a huge contrast to nasty old Lexington. Here is a hint Rick. We dont like you in Lexington, BECAUSE YOU ARE COACHING LOUISVILLE! Had you gone and coached at Michigan or UNLV, you would still be beloved in Lexington…but you went and coached UK’s BIGGEST RIVAL….and then you STILL want UK fans to love you….give me strength. Had you gone and coached Providence’s biggest rival (which may not even exist, but if it does it may be Boston College), then those Providence folks might have a different opinion of you as well. I literally cannot take Rick Pitino in almost any dose….the only time I have cheered him in the past six years was when he wore that white linen suit the other night….beyond that, I honestly would prefer to hear Bill O Reilly talk….and for me, that is saying something.
(4) TEXAS TECH: Finally, a little tidbit that was chirped in my ear yesterday. I am told that Kentucky is trying to schedule a home and home series with a Texas based team for basketball next year and that it is likely that Texas Tech could be the team chosen. Due to Gillispie’s huge respect for Bobby Knight and his desire to help out his son with big time games in Lubbock, Texas Tech could be the Big 12 opponent slated for a two-game series. Just something to keep in the back of your mind over the summer.
More throughout today as we get you ready to see those Georgia Bulldogs and another Jimmy Dykes called game……