A big weekend for the Kentucky faithful as the Football Cats got huge win #2 (the other being Ole Miss) of the three that they need in order to make a bowl game (Destination: Shreveport) and likely save the job of Coach Rich Brooks. It was a solid performance by the Cats, winning with strong offensive production, and a somewhat mediocre defensive game. However a win is a win, especially when it is in the SEC and is on the road. And for poor Sylvester Croom, things are sure looking grim.
Above you see the Myspace photo of the back of UK recruit Ramon Harris, the mysterious man from Alaska who wants to play at Kentucky more than just about any human being that I can imagine. I certainly hope the test scores and Clearinghouse dramas work themselves out, as the kid wants to be a Cat, and in my view, will be a damn good one if he gets here.
And finally, be ready for details this week of the Kentucky Sports Radio White Castle Burger Challenge as our own Hubby will take on all comers at the UK-Georgia game in a White Castle eating contest. If you are interested and are in the Lexington area next Saturday, we will have more details forthcoming. Also if you have a Facebook account, a fan has started a fan site on Facebook. Here is the link. Join if you can and hopefully we will soon have an official Myspace site, so that we can put the stuff we dont want anyone to see on there. Onto the news….
(1) Nothing like a good panic to get everyone’s blood racing. This weekend of course saw the visit of Jai Lucas to Maryland, the alma mater of his father and home of the best coach burning in the land. Lucas enjoyed his visit to Maryland, and was actually interviewed by the Maryland Rivals.Com site on his visit (which by the way as I understand it is an NCAA Violation since it was done on the visit….although its not really Maryland’s fault). Lucas was able to see a good football performance by the Terps, which led to an internet rumor today that Jai had been “blown away” by the visit and was set to announce for Maryland in the next few days. Put simply, this rumor is untrue. While Jai did enjoy the visit, he has been to Maryland a number of times and this was not a shocking experience. While the Terps are still a contender for Jai’s services, nothing has shaken my belief that Kentucky is still Jai’s leader and that absent some change in the coming two weeks, he will most likely commit to Kentucky at the end of that period. In the recruiting world things can still change, but if the decision took place today, Jai is in Lexington.
(2) Very interesting conversation today with Coach Dan Brinkley, the high school coach for the Morris twins. I asked him about a report that the twins are considering making their college decision in November, determining where they will be in 08. Coach Brinkley said that was true and that he believed there would be a decision “within a few weeks.” I asked him the status of Kentucky and this is what he said, “the guys love Kentucky. But it isnt clear that Kentucky wants them for 2008. They had an offer for 2007 and when they decided to wait, Coach Rigot told me that Tubby would be calling to let them know the status for 08. That hasnt happened yet. They havent taken a visit to Lexington and even though they like Kentucky a whole lot, we dont know if Kentucky wants them now.” I found this conversation very interesting. I know for a fact that at least one of the twins has favored Kentucky all along. They want to make their decision soon and if Kentucky wants to be a player, they will be. But according to Brinkley, the Cats have not offered for 08. If the Cats want the twins, they better move fast….like this week.
And if they dont want the twins, well, then they must be REALLY confident about Patterson, thats all I can say. With Hopson committed (for now), Barnes to Georgia, Brooks maybe making a decision soon, etc….the UK recruiting landscape gets real muggy if Patterson doesnt commit. Here is the thing….get Patrick and you dont really need the Morris twins in 08, you focus on centers and guards. Lose Patterson, and having the Morris twins would be great for the future of the program. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens between UK and the twins in the next two weeks.
(3) Lots of talk heating up that there will be a strong push to get 2008 UK recruit Darius Miller of Mason County to commit in the next few weeks. Tubby Smith was at the Mason County football game this past weekend and rumor has it that Mason County, seeking to avoid the wrath of the rest of the state, may be having a “celebration” for Smith, similar to that which happened for Bruce Pearl, in the next few weeks. Miller grew up a UK fan from my understanding (still no public interviews have been allowed that I know of) and most close to the kid seem to think that UK is the favorite. But it is clear that UK wants someone in the bag as the loss of Scotty Hopson took everyone off guard in Lexington.
(4) Basketball time starts this week in Lexington with the first scrimmage against Lindsey Wilson. If you remember, Lindsey Wilson took Louisville down to the wire last year so the game may have some fireworks. I am EXTREMELY excited to finally have basketball action to talk about and we look forward to covering the festivities on Thursday night. Biggest question from my perspective……who are the starters? My guess is that Smith goes with Bradley, Crawford, Perry, Thomas and Morris. Any other lineup would be surprising.
(5) Finally a little tidbit from Starkville. Apparently after the game, the UK football team got together in the locker room and as a group sang (or rapped) a song of celebration and were joined by the coaching staff in the festivities. Apparently the group was chanting and dancing for five-ten minutes and the event was as “joyous as we have seen in recent years.” The magic word in Lexington this year is most certainly chemistry. Both the football and basketball teams are closer this year than they have been in many a year and the football team’s chemistry has helped this team bond and succeed on the field. When the book on Rich Brooks and Kentucky football has been written (hopefully by Dave Eggers or James Frey), regardless of how the wins and losses end up, there can be no doubt that Brooks has taken a team that was literally decimated both on and off the field by probation and made the family atmosphere come back. That is an impressive accomplishment.
Tomorrow should be accompanied by some show news to report. Plus, we will have Episode 12 of the show ready for your consumption tomorrow evening. Barry Booker, SEC Preview, Miss State recap and general banter….a fun show. And if you havent seen our Top 25 Kentucky High School Seniors, scroll down and check it out. Until then….