Coming upon the greatest four day span of the year, we are now ready to celebrate this Tuesday….the birthday of course of your friend and mine, Percival Lowell. Percival had an unfortunate life…..mainly because he was named Percival. However he also gave our world a number of interesting discoveries, including proof that there were canals on Mars (with corresponding moss and sewage) and the beginnings of work that led to the discovery of Pluto. I must admit that I feel a bit bad for Lowell because history is slowly making him less and less relevant. There was a time that picking out the Ninth Planet seemed like something to really celebrate…..heck before it, the rhyme “My very earthly mother just sat upon nine” didnt make sense. But Pluto gets found, Lowell gets notoriety (posthumously) and history smiles. But now all the brilliant astronomers are saying that Pluto really isnt a “planet” any more and is therefore “worthless.” Thus history is taking a step back and Lowell, is going the way of the dodo bird. A shame really…..but we on Kentucky Sports Radio will always be Percival Lowell fans….no matter what you say.
(1) Big news of the day was of course the Mitch Barnhart statement that is transcribed below, essentially saying that Tubby Smith is the UK coach….which I guess we all knew. I read the statement as saying what we all knew…..Tubby Smith will not be fired by the administration, but he may be expected to make changes…..which is what we all expected. Folks with agendas may read something else into the statement or hold out hope for a different conclusion, but ultimately if Tubby Smith leaves, today’s statement shows that it is on his own accord. So what is the reason for today’s statement? Two words: Recruiting. There was a lot of chatter at the SEC Tournament that Patterson and (especially) Lucas were concerned about Tubby’s future….today’s statement was to relieve those worries….now we just have to see if they make the leap to Big Blue Land. So much rides on the decisions of two 18 year old guys…..what a way to make a living.
(2) Along those lines, read an older story today that 07 big man Isaiah Rusher is qualified for next season. This is a bit surprising, as is the list of schools that Isaiah says have offered him…..including LSU, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kentucky and Florida. I question whether any of these schools still have offers on the table for him at this point, but you never know. IF you believe these schools have still offered however, this is a lot of schools for a kid who many thought would be ineligible. He has said he is considering UK seriously and would like to play with Jai Lucas. Potential Patterson backup? Could be…..
(3) Villanova’s coach Jay Wright said that UK is as talented as any team in America. Well that may be a bit of hyperbole, but Wright truly believes that Kentucky is a difficult matchup for the Wildcats, and I agree. The key to Friday’s game is Randolph Morris through and through. If he stays out of foul trouble, he has a great chance of making a huge impact and dominating the game. But if he gets in foul trouble, Nova is up to and maybe ahead of the Cats at the other positions. Randolph must show up…..but be careful, it may be a double-edged sword. IF he does too well, it could be just the platform for him to leap to the NBA…..the worst of all options for the Cats.
(4) Billy Packer and Jim Nantz are calling the game as CBS for the second consecutive year has made the Cats the marquee game of the tournament, with the highest rated position……late Sunday in the second round. It is clear that CBS wants UK-Kansas on Sunday as the big game with their big announcers making the call. Yippee…..just what I want, more Packer.
We begin breaking the brackets down today…..look on Deadspin for my preview of Kentucky as part of their NCAA preview. Listen to our show on 1570 and 1600 AM from 3-7 pm over the next two days as national media members come on to pick their brackets for the Kentucky folks……and sign up for the NCAA Tournament Challenge. We have a huge group and want it to be bigger! Free UK tickets to the winner……