When I started this blog, if you had ever told me that there would be a day where I would have Patch Adams as the lead picture on it for a day, I would have likely sent you to an asylum. I really, really hated Patch Adams….a lot. It had all the elements that makes me think a movie is simply pitiful…..schmaltzy plot, feel-good scenes and most importantly, Robin Williams. I remember walking out of the movie the first time I saw it and thinking, “if I ever had a doctor walk into my room dressed as a clown, I seriously might call the cops.” The only redeeming grace to the movie is that the girl in it was very hot…..although the notion that she would fall for Robin Williams was silly. But regardless of my dislike, Patch Adams makes today’s top picture…..why? Because the real Patch Adams is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University who put a great beating on the heartless basketball soul bleeders known as the Duke basketball team. Anthony Grant continued his rise towards basketball prominence (more on him later) and the world got what the world likes……a Duke loss. Happy times, happy times…..so happy, I am willing to give props to the horrid Patch Adams….enjoy it while it lasts Robin….
To today’s stories…..
(1) An overall lackluster day of NCAA Tournament basketball from my perspective. The afternoon games were simply awful to watch, largely due to the fact that all eight favorites won the early games and none of them were really close. The day began with the awkward sight of Rick Pitino in Rupp Arena with a host of Louisville fans watching the Cards absolutely DESTROY the artists formerly known as the Stanford Cardinal. I went into the day thinking the Lopez Twins might cause some problems for the Ville, but instead what we had was a complete schooling by Ricky P’s young band of artists. Rupp was loud, the play was hot and Stanford’s coach showed that he is no Mike Montgomery. The rest of the day was lackluster, concluding with Vandy going Colonial on George Washington and setting the SEC up well going into tomorrow. Unfortunately for me however, there were no close games in Gus Johnson’s region and there was WAYYYY too much Seth Davis (meaning any Seth Davis). Hopefully today will be better.
(2) A couple of notes on the artist formerly known as Patrick Patterson. First, Patrick led his high school team to a monster 60 POINT win in the State Tournament Quarterfinals this week, as they continue to cruise to an inevitable championship. Patrick told me that after the tournament, he will narrow his decision to three schools and then wait to “see how things shake out.” What is interesting is that Patrick has three amazing programs, KY, Duke and Fla, all of whom REALLY NEED him next year and have certain deficiencies at power forward. He holds all the cards in his hand and is in no rush to show them. My Huntington sources are saying that the scuttlebutt in West Virginia is that the parents are on Ky’s side and that this may end up being the deciding factor. We shall see…..all I know is that the day that Patrick decides will be an odd day on this blog…..no name has been mentioned more since we began and no name has become more of a part of people’s greetings to me. (Example: Hey Matt, I am Bob….where is Patrick Patterson going?) We will miss him a great deal.
I also need to clarify something we said on here a couple of days ago. I said that the Herald Leader’s John Clay “reported” on a radio show that the Duke staff had read the Mitch Barnhart statement directly to Patrick….when in fact on the radio show he said that a rumor was tha this occurred. This is different than “reporting” it and I apologize to John for not making that distinction.
(3) Lest anyone forget (and it seems like many have), Kentucky opens up the NCAA Tournament tonight against Villanova. The latest word out of Chicago is that Villanova guard Mike Nardi will play and his condition has improved. The Cats remain confident going into the game, with Ramel Bradley saying today that it was time for the team to show that all the disappointment this year was worth something in return. Bradley also, contrary to some internet reports DOES NOT have a broken hand…..and neither do I for that matter. I have never seen a UK tournament game with less buzz….really ever, in large part because the talk of Tubby has dominated all conversation. I think that is a shame as this is a time of year where even the most adament Tubby detractor should rally around the team. You dont get a lot of Marchs folks, so we should soak up this one. I say the Cats by 9……which one I will reveal later.
(4) Finally, a little mini-update on Stephon Pettigrew. I spoke today with someone in E-town who told me that Stephon is going to be patient over the next couple of weeks and let the college seasons’ end before making a decision, but that he wont be waiting forever. Most everyone around Pettigrew agrees that Kentucky is tops on his list with Western, UMASS and Ole Miss far behind….but he is a fan of Western’s proximity and Travis Ford at UMASS…..Kentucky waits too long and Stephon moves on. Kentucky really has no choice but to wait for Lucas and Patterson, but hopefully the Morris situation will resolve itself one way or the other soon after the season so that Kentucky doesnt unnecessarily lose on a good in-state recruit.
(5) I do have to say a word about VCU coach Anthony Grant. For those of you that dont know Grant, he was Billy Donovan’s top recruiter at Florida and was a guy that was generally regarded as one of the two or three best recruiters in the nation during his time there. John Pelphrey often gets the credit around here, but Grant was the guy evaluating and bringing in the studs in Gainesville. I love his style of play, his ability to relate to kids and his connection to the game currently. He also has former UK player Allen Edwards on his staff as well, which is a great UK connection. I think Grant is headed for big things and I look forward to watching him rise. I do NOT think he is a contender for the UK job (one year of success at VCU is not enough) but I do think a BCS school without a strong basketball tradition (Minnesota?) should hop on board soon.
Just as I spoke earlier, Gus Johnson got a great finish with Xavier-BYU. I seriously love the guy…..he oozes excitement. Now some business for the day. We found out today that Rob Gidel and I will be broadcasting the McDonalds All American game live on the radio in Louisville and the surrounding area. In addition, we will have exclusive radio interview rights to all the players in the two days leading up to the game. We should have some GREAT STUFF here in those two days, including with UK targets Patterson and Lucas.
Also, once again the crew will be at the Lucky Strike Lanes today for the Sports Mob and ESPN Radio. I will be there from 5-7 pm and we would love to have you come out and say hello and watch some games. It was a great atmosphere today, lots of good food, basketball, bowling and beautiful ladies…..what more can you ask for? Well maybe Hubby, and he will be there tomorrow. So check it out….
UK game preview and post-game here tomorrow…..Go CATS!!!