Today we salute the birthday of one of the legendary voices in Hollywood, the deep gruff of Sam Elliott. Elliott is one of those guys who you will see in a late night movie on TBS and upon the appearance of his face, you know “this movie has some serious testosterone.” While it seems that Sam was a part of American Hollywood forever, his actual popularity is a relatively recent phenomenon. While he played in movies in the 60s and 70s, he didnt hit the nation’s consciousness until his role in Tombstone, a movie worshipped by literally every male in their 20s and never seen by me (Yes I know it is ridiculous that I have never seen it and people think I am the worst person ever for never watching it, but there just hasnt been time over the last 13 years….I promise I will get to it). For me however, Elliott is always associated with “The Big Lebowski”, one of the funniest movies that you will ever see that produced a bizarre festival in Louisville in which people dress up as the characters and dance all night. Whatever you feel about that, liking Sam Elliott should be uncontroversial…..with a voice that deep and a moustache that absurd, he is a guy for all to emulate.
To the news……
(1) The neverending search for a Kentucky big man for 2008 continues. Kentucky Sports Report (which is making news left and right in the last couple of weeks) tonight reports that Ralph Sampson III will be visiting UK next week and is strongly considering the Cats. For those of you not old enough to remember the elder Sampson, he was only one of the best big men in college basketball history and very nearly picked UK, announcing his decision by initially saying something sounding like Kentucky and then picking Virginia. Sampson III is not nearly as developed as his father and thoughts about him are decidedly mixed. He is able to put the ball in the basket and has great height, but he is at times awkward with the basketball and is not a great rebounder. However the bloodlines are VERY solid and his stock has risen in recent months with a number of BCS schools getting involved. I am not sure that Sampson is the total answer for UK as the sole big man for the 08 class….but if combined with another guy, he could be a good get for the future.
(2) The big man question continues to plague the Cats as we all attempt to guess what direction UK will take with their 08 interests. What is clear is that at this point, Chris Singleton seems to be the number one target. But after that it gets murky. UK likes J’Mison Morgan, but it is unclear how much as Morgan expresses interest in UK but never lists them at the top of his schools of choice. John Riek is a huge prospect that is as good as any player in the country, but questions remain as to what class he will be a part of and whether he is ready to go to Kentucky or another school is taking over as his top choice. Kevin Jones is a big talent who loves the Cats, but for reasons that are hard for me to understand, isnt hearing from UK a great deal at this point. And then there are the JUCO names popping up, a group that may increase as the year goes on. If Singleton takes the bait and becomes a Cat, this entire process may be for naught….but if not, the question of who will fill the big man void for UK could be answered by players that are as of yet unknown, keeping those of us who attempt to follow this stuff, baffled for the next few months.
(3) Interesting article yesterday by Gary Parrish of CBS Sportsline, who talks about a speaking engagement recently by Billy Clyde. In the article he talks a bit about Billy Clyde’s thoughts, the most interesting of which to me is his belief that one of the ways to build team unity is to take a concept from football and move it to the hardwood. IF a coach creates “special teams” that are focused on getting a rebound or setting up a particular play, guys who might not otherwise play can feel more of a part of the action than if only 7 or 8 guys see the floor. This simple act then makes the entire team take ownership of the proceedings and then individuals can develop into better players quicker. A very interesting idea and one I will be watching during the season.
(4) If you get a chance, listen to our show on Thursday when Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows ended up on our show. He tells a GREAT ASHLEY JUDD story about her UK fandom…..good for any UK fan. Click on the names below (not the arrows) and enjoy:
Reports on football practice tomorrow from Rob…..we will continue our UK football position-by-position report…..and a big show on Thursday continuing our very unique previews with Pac 10. Stay tuned…..