Remember that day? An absolutely great day to be a UK fan. The Cats went after one of the best players in the nation…..that player waited until Spring, leading to a great deal of speculation as to his ultimate location….the morning of the announcement, false reports came out saying he had picked Georgia Tech….but in the end, Randolph Morris committed to Kentucky. That was a great moment for those of us that love recruiting. Will it happen again this year…..well we shall see. But I have always liked this picture, in part because Morris never looked more excited……hopefully it can be re-created in the coming months.
To the news jeeves….
(1) The big news of the day of course was our interview with Marshall Moses in which he confirmed that he will be coming to Kentucky for a visit this weekend. The interview (which you can read in full below) was interesting for me on a number of levels. First, it is clear that the interest in Oklahoma State is real, and not just fodder for discussion as I have always felt was the case about the other schools on his “list.” Marshall from day one has told us, both on the air and off, that Kentucky was where it was at for him. The Cats were a team he liked growing up, they recruited him early and he was simply awaiting word from the Cats to pull the trigger. But then we waited….and waited….and waited. And Marshall did what he should have, which was to explore more options. Then what happened? He realized that there are other schools that have a lot to offer….and dont underestimate Stillwater and Oklahoma State. The atmosphere Moses saw for Bedlam will likely be better than what he will see for UT (mostly because of how students are treated there as opposed to here…..which is a whole different rant) and unlike UK, there have been no bumps in the road with the Cowboys. Moses has always been UK’s to lose. And, with a good visit, I think UK can still get him. But for the first time since Marshall has started talking to us, I heard the possibility of him going elsewhere. If he does, UK will regret it.
We plan on having a report on the visit as soon as it is over and it is very likely that the Moses saga will be over quickly one way or the other.
(2) Joining Marshall in Lexington will be Stephon Pettigrew, who UK has finally decided to have come in for an unofficial visit. I talked to Stephon this week who says that he and Tubby “couldnt get each other on the phone” to schedule a visit last weekend (which may have been good), but that he was coming this weekend. You folks know my thoughts on Pettigrew. I think he is a great high school player and will be a good college player. Can he be an effective scorer in the SEC….I think that remains to be seen. I do NOT think you take Pettigrew over Moses, Lucas or Patterson (and UK wont). But if one of those guys does not come, I think Pettigrew is a better option than another reach like Katuka or another name we do not know. In state kid with a strong work ethic and a nose for the basket…..worth a scholarship in my view over a “reach” from out of state. As for the suggestions that he should walk-on…he wont and he shouldnt. The kid has worked hard and deserves to attend a college for free, wherever that is.
(3) I basically stayed away from all “debates” on the blog today about whether Tubby should or should not be the coach. I let one thread contain all that, but it isnt the purpose of this one (and the comments will reflect that). Ultimately I was very disappointed in the Georgia game. Losing on the road in Athens is no crime….many teams will (and have) do/done that. However losing in the way UK did…..with a breakdown over the last ten minutes, boneheaded mistakes and costly decision-making was tough to watch. Overtime wasnt a big deal to me as the banked in three by Gaines was a lucky shot that effectively ended the game. But the end of regulation was tough. Three possessions, no shots. Jodie Meeks, who is a Freshman and thus has some leeway, has been dreadful on defense the last two games and his pass to Bradley on the fast break with under a minute to play was simply awful. If that ball gets backed out, the Cats at least get a shot to win….something they never ended up having.
Finally, Randolph Morris has got to decide he wants to be a top dog player. From a skill perspective, few in the nation are better. From an intelligence perspective, he is a solid, heady player. But he doesnt showcase a desire to want to take over and win in the end. The telling play to me was the attempted lob to him by Joe Crawford with just over a minute to go in regulation. The pass was poor, but not terrible…..yet Morris simply let Bliss…..freakin BLISS, deny him the ball and get a key steal. That is simply effort folks and only Morris can decide he is going to turn on his abilities 100 percent in any given game.
Our Saturday show is at 10 am – 12 noon this Saturday. It is our Debut Show and we would love to have you tune in. After everyone’s suggestions, we are tentatively going with “The Walk-Ons” as the show’s title and we hope it is successful. Our first show is scheduled to have Chuck Hayes and Louisville AD Tom Jurich. You can listen on 1570 AM around Louisville and because it is on during the day, the reception will be great all over. In Lexington, 1600 AM may be able to pick up the show (Lexington is on the outer edge of reception), so at least give it a shot. By March Madness we will be streaming online live, so be listening. We will tape the podcast immediately after the show and will have both on here by Monday.
The last ever Kentucky Sports Radio on ESPN Radio was Wednesday night before the Georgia game and is AVAILABLE HERE FOR DOWNLOAD. It is a great show, with the entire crew in studio including Ravi Moss and Rob Gidel. We have good wishes from Gregg Doyel and Bomani Jones (our two favorite guests), some recruiting talk (football and basketball) and a great impression of the Joe B and Denny Show which is mean but good….check it out.
Watch today and all weekend for Rob’s Football recruiting news, report on the Moses visit and our UT preview.