Before there was a KentuckySportsRadio.com, it was Oscar Combs and The Cats Pause paving the way for fan journalism around the University of Kentucky. Oscar has covered every UK basketball coach since Adolph Rupp and he’s still going strong today as co-host of the IMG pregame show and a little bit of everything else. The humble man from Hazard, Kentucky is a legend in the eyes of Big Blue Nation, a pioneer of media in Kentucky, and we’re honored to call him a friend of KSR.
So join me in wishing Oscar a Happy 34th Birthday today, and who knows, maybe he’ll tweet us a pic of his birthday fee-lay mee-yawn.
Happy Birthday, Big O!
Thursday was declared “Andrew Wiggins Day” in Huntington, West Virginia as the young basketball phenom was presented a declaration for the holiday from Mayor Williams, just one day after Wiggins was named Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Grimace and the Hamburglar attended the ceremony to celebrate Wiggins’ participation in the McDonald’s game next week, along with another special guest, John Vincent Calipari.
Coach Cal stopped by afterward to see the nation’s top high school target, and despite rumors of whatever, Huntington Prep head coach Rob Fulford made it clear Cal’s visit was just to reiterate UK’s interest in Wiggins and see if he has any questions or concerns about Kentucky. “Andrew did not have any,” Fulford told sNY.tv.
Wiggins has yet to set a date for an announcement but it shouldn’t be much longer. Kentucky fans hope he’ll wait for the McDonald’s All-American game next week — where six future Wildcats will be in his ear — and then make a decision immediately after. That game and the practices/events leading up to the game will be huge for recruiting. There’s pressure on the Harrisons, Randle, Young, Lee, and Johnson to make a good impression on and off the court. It’s like a trial run for how things will work out if he joins the class. Go chemistry!
While we anxiously await Wiggins’ decision, another UK target, Dominique Hawkins, anxiously awaits a scholarship offer from Kentucky. The self-described lifelong UK basketball fan will meet with Calipari on Friday to find out if there will be an opening for him on UK’s roster next season. If the scholarship offer is there, Hawkins will almost certainly accept it, although he might not do it on the spot. We’ll know for sure on Friday though, whenever Cal heads over to Richmond to sit down with him.
In case you missed it, there were multiple tweets on Thursday claiming Hawkins will commit to Kentucky on Friday — one from a Louisville-based AAU program, another from a former high school teammate. That may end up being the case, but those reports are premature, according to Hawkins and his coach. They claim they still don’t know the scholarship situation and won’t know until Friday’s meeting with Calipari.
If you’re worrying about the scholarship situation next season, don’t. It’ll all work out. If Hawkins gets an offer Friday, that has zero effect on Andrew Wiggins so don’t fret. Wiggins has a spot on the team if he wants it, regardless of any roster additions or returning players.
Willie Cauley-Stein hasn’t made up his mind on returning or leaving but he needs to decide soon before his tweets drive all Kentucky basketball fans crazy. The Kentucky big man has been tweeting his thoughts since the season ended and it’s impossible to not read too far into everything he sends out. For instance, early Thursday morning he tweeted, “3 yrs ago i would think about all the 18 and 19 yr old millionaires and be like dang that’s that life! Now I’m like wow that could be me!” which suggests he’s leaving. But he tweeted, “Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m only 19” right before it. Then he confused us even more when he said, “In all seriousness tho lol I thought I already told everyone my answer if I’m staying or going!”
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN???????????
It’s almost the end of the week, meaning Calipari has likely already held his individual meetings with players so an official announcement from UK can’t be far away. It’s safe to assume Nerlens Noel and Ryan Harrow are gone, for different reasons, obviously, but the other three guys could go either way. Archie was very adamant about a return following the loss to Robert Morris, but don’t be surprised if he ends up jumping to the league. He’s at least considering the draft more than he was a week ago. Poythress also said he would return, but he too is more open to leaving now. I think it’s a coin flip at this point if you’re trying to guess what happens.
NBADraft.net’s updated mock draft has Nerlens Noel going No. 2 to Orlando followed by Willie Cauley-Stein to Dallas at No. 13. Poythress and Goodwin are listed as 2014 prospects.
DraftExpress.com has Nerlens as the top pick to Charlotte followed by Poythress to Cleveland at No. 16 and Goodwin to Atlanta with the 18th pick. Willie Cauley-Stein is a 2014 prospect.
In NCAA tourney news, Miami was kicked out of the dance by Marquette in a convincing win for the Golden Eagles. The Hurricanes never got back within 10 points after going down 22-10 early in the game. Marquette will face the winner of Indiana/Syracuse for a spot in the Final Four. The Orange currently lead the Hoosiers in the second half over on TBS.
Tolly Ho advanced to the Elite 8 of the College Eats Challenge, thanks to your help with the online poll. Now the Ho burger and tots combo needs you help again to reach the Final Four. Go here to vote and do it as many times as you want.
A friend of KSR could also use some support in her quest for a prominent spot in the fashion world. Alex McLean is in the running to be the new U.S. face of Wallis Fashion and she could use some help from her fellow members of #BBN. Just go to this Facebook link and vote for Lex What Wear. I think you have to ‘Like’ the page to vote but you can just unlike it after you give her a click. She’ll really appreciate it and you’ll feel good about dominating another online poll.
Look at the hops on Mark Krebs one more time in the NCAA March Madness commercial…
That’ll do it for now.