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Pierre De Fermat’s Tuesday News and Views


Today is the 409th birthday of Pierre de Fermat, a French lawyer who you only know if you are someone who specializes in mathematical theories or bought a copy of the “100 Most Important Pierres in World History” book that Evan Hilbert left the site to write. Fermat created what was known as “Fermat’s Last Theorem”, which in its simplest form is also really boring. Basically, it was the “Family Matters” to the Pythagorean Theorem’s “Perfect Strangers”, spinning off of the classic A(squared) +B(squared) = C(squared) theorem that you learned in Geometry but quickly forgot. With the Pythagorean Theorem, there exists some perfect integers that make the theorem true (called Pyathagorean triples) such as 3, 4, 5. Before he died Fermat theorized that being able to find integers to make such an equation true was only possible if A,B and C were squared. Any exponential factor greater than 2 made it impossible to find an integer that satisfied the equation. Fermat hinted that he could prove this theorem, but left no proof (a strategy employed by many recruiting analysts nowadays), leading to a bedevling search by mathematicians for centuries. From the mid 1600s till the early 1990s, mathematicians tried to prove Fermat’s theory true and in the process, discovered many of the tenets on which mathematics is now based. But no one was able to hit the jackpot until 1993 when a Brit named Andrew Wiles proved the “Last Theorem” and was given the title of “Smartest Mathematician Alive”, which set the blog abuzz. We celebrate Fermat’s birthday for no real reason than the fact that his story has always intrigued me. Creating a puzzle that you say you can solve, then dying and ruining the lives of those in your field for 350 years? One has to respect Fermat’s swagger if nothing else….

To the news of the day:

(1): When you switch your primary career to sports as I have done over the last few weeks, you end up watching things you would never otherwise choose to pass the time…for instance, the NBA Summer League. And today, the league hurt my soul as Daniel Orton had a day to forget. We have already gone over the Orton day in some detail below, but it is worth noting that the tv commentators were still talking about how Orton “cant let one day define his career for all-time”, which is a pretty bold statement for one Monday afternoon game in an empty gym. It was bizarre to watch Orton struggle, but hopefully he will use this as a chance to right some of the wrongs that have developed over the last couple of months. When I saw him bark at his teammate on the first play and pout on the second possession, I knew we were in for a long day. He has a chance to redeem himself today at 1 pm in his second game. Lets hope he does.

(2): Orton however wasnt the only former Cat hitting the floor for an NBA shot today. Joe Crawford and Jodie Meeks also saw action as well and had decent results. Jodie Meeks went on a late run in his game to finish with 18 points, taking the ball to the basket and showing the scoring ability that was so prevalent in Lexington. He drew raves from the announcers and is likely to stick with the Philadelphia 76ers for a second season. Joe Crawford finished with ten points, looking a bit more timid than I am used to, causing Ramel Bradley to tweet to Joe that he needed to “stop passing so much.” He does look fit and while I wonder if Orlando is the right place for him, a good performance in this league could get someone’s attention. I watched four games today and the two best players were Lance “Born Ready” Stephenson and Luke Harangody. I nearly talked myself into both players being good in the league. I knew then that I needed to turn off the tv.

(3): There was a report on a couple of websites today about the future of Darnell Dodson and speculation as to whether he will return. I have spoken to a number of folks over the last two weeks and the continued theme is that no one is exactly sure what Dodson’s future will hold. The report, which was labeled as a rumor by Anthony Wireman, was that Dodson would sit out this year and then rejoin the team in 2011-2012. I find that highly unlikely, even if that is the current plan. Dodson has had trouble sticking around and keeping him for another year where he doesnt play seems to me to have little upside. The Cats can recruit over him in that class and I am not sure Darnell is best served by sitting out a season. Even if that is the plan, and I am not sure it is, I would be shocked to see it succeed. We will probably find out about Darnell one day randomly, but for now, his situation is still in flux.

(4): reports that 2011 Top ten player Anthony Davis Jr will visit UK this summer. before he makes his final decision. He has previously been reported to be down to UK, Syracuse and Ohio State (although Louisville fans will insist he is defintely coming there and they will sign Lebron and Chris Bosh). The visit is exactly what UK wanted and could signal another potential top signing for UK. Davis is long and lean and plays perfect for Calipari’s system. I expect UK to be in it to win it until the end.

(5): Finally, an underreported tidbit from the NCAA. Beginning next season, the NCAA will announce every Coach’s individual APR rating. The rating will not have a scholarship effect but will allow the media to determine which coaches are doing well, regardless of their school and give fans a particular coach to point to when they get hit with an APR punishment (which could come next year for UK thanks to the Billy Clyde/Daniel Orton situations). The APR system is fundamentally flawed and is a terrible way to judge schools or coaches, especially when scholarships are attached to the decisions. But I do like the idea of putting onus on coaches individually. If UK has a problem next year, Calipari will take the hit (and on Orton it was under his watch, even if he had no ability to stop it), but many of the issues go back to Billy Clyde. Potentially this system will help showcase that if reporters bother to do the research…which they probably wont.

More all day as we get back to a regular week. I head off for Vegas on Friday for summer league, but until then we KSR it every day. Stay tuned…..

Article written by Matt Jones