Have you ever found yourself wondering, “I wonder how Ruben Studdard is doing in life?” No? Really? Well, you’re about to find out anyways. Since winning the second season of “American Idol” back in 2003 (yes, the show has been on for that long. Put it out of its misery, please), Ruben’s released five albums, been nominated for a Grammy, gotten married and then divorced, become a vegan, lost 80 pounds because of said veganism, and appeared on numerous television series. Who knew the “Velvet Teddy Bear” had it in him?
Now, Ruben lives in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, promoting his new album, working with charities, and, I like to think, calling Clay Aiken every now and then to reminisce about the old days. You know, back when there was only one singing talent show on television. (Seriously, how many are there now? And why is Britney Spears involved with any of them?)
Anyways, happy birthday, Ruben. Enjoy some vegan birthday cake and some news and views.
— Rick Minter and Randy Sanders met with the media on Tuesday, with no big news to report. CoShik Williams was back at practice and running “close to 100%”, meaning he will likely play on Saturday. Sanders and senior Morgan Newton also discussed Newton’s new role in the offense, which saw him playing both running back and wide receiver against Kent State, a trend that will continue the rest of this season. Sanders said Newton is an athlete they have to get involved in some way on offense, and Newton is ready for the challenge, telling reporters he is willing to help the team out in any way he can. He even made a joke about his infamous “self-sack” against Western last year, a cringe-worthy moment he said he’s added to his blooper reel. Life’s better when you’re laughing with us, Morgan.
— You want recruiting news? I’ve got recruiting news. On Tuesday, Cal and crew were in California visiting Aaron Gordon and Stanley Johnson. Gordon, a 6’7″ power forward, is a top five player in the 2013 class; Johnson, a 6’6″ small forward, is ranked 17th in the 2014 class by Rivals.com. In case you’ve ever doubted Cal’s commitment to recruiting (why would you?), just check this tweet out:
We went 22 straight hours recruiting yesterday. We took off at 6:30 a.m. CT and landed at 2:30 a.m. PT. I did sneak in a nap on the plane.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) September 11, 2012
— How about the Harrison Twins? On Tuesday, we learned that Cal visited them on Sunday, along with Julius Randle. The Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts spoke to their father, Aaron Harrison Sr., who said that his sons will not visit Kentucky again before their October 29th decision. Why? Their previous two visits to Lexington told him “all I need to know.” Hmm. What about that trip to Maryland for Midnight Madness? Harrison Sr. says that contrary to earlier reports, it’s not a done deal, and still something that the family is considering. You can take this news one of two ways: 1) The Harrisons’ visits to Kentucky have impressed them to the point that they are going through the rest of the visits as a formality, or 2) They’ve seen what Cal and the Cats have to offer and may be leaning towards other options, such as Maryland. Considering Kentucky’s program, facilities, and tradition, odds are its the former, not the latter.
— Suddenly, Julius Randle’s recruitment has turned into “Bling Wars.” Remember how impressed Julius Randle and his mother were by Calipari’s National Championship ring? So does Roy Williams, who “thirty-one upped” Cal on Tuesday night by bringing a case of thirty rings he’s collected over the years, ranging from conference titles to Final Four berths to national titles. Needless to say, Randle was impressed:
“When coach Williams opened the case you almost couldn’t look directly in it for fear of going blind,” Randle joked. “It was crazy.”
Daggum Roy also brought along Michael Jordan’s 1992 NBA championship ring, which Randle said Cal’s couldn’t compare to. His mother added:
“Yeah, coach Williams was ready for coach Cal with those rings. He got him there.”
Clearly, Randle and his mother are impressed by shiny things. I hope he gets the chance to check out the crystal National Championship trophy at the Craft Center this weekend. I hear it’s real shiny, and thankfully, doesn’t reek of desperation.
— Cal merely being in a recruit’s state seems to boost the Cats’ chances these days. 2013 PF Marcus Lee of Deer Valley, CA has narrowed his list to Kentucky, Louisville and California. He’s the 15th overall player in the 2013 class according to Rivals.com.
— Just when you thought Enes Kanter‘s life couldn’t get any weirder, he goes and tweets this:
Hanging with my boy Christopher Knight (AKA Peter Brady) . twitter.com/Enes_Kanter/st…
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) September 12, 2012
When Enes posts a picture of him and Verne Troyer, then I’ll be worried.
— UNC may have escaped the wrath of the NCAA when it comes to their academic scandal, but things are not getting any better for the Tarheels’ reputation. On Tuesday, Chief Fundraiser Matt Kupec resigned after an in-house investigation revealed he had taken non-work related trips on the university’s dime with Tami Hansbrough, the divorced mother of one Tyler “Booby Eyes” Hansbrough. Mrs. Hansbrough, a fundraiser for the university’s dental school, has been placed on administrative leave. Kupec and Hansbrough, who had been dating since fall of 2009, dipped into the university’s funds to travel to see Hansbrough’s other son, Ben, play for Notre Dame. Even better? Kupec was responsible for getting Hansbrough the job, which she started on Valentine’s Day 2011. How romantic.
— Soccer fans rejoice! The University announced plans for $7 million worth of renovations to the UK Soccer Complex, which will include upgrades to the locker rooms and training rooms, as well as new seating and a new press box. The project will be funded by private UK Athletics funds.
Make those flat tops flatter, ladies!
See you in the morning.