Well, well, well. Tuesday got interesting pretty quickly, didn’t it? Prior to 8pm, Tuesday was set to go down as the most painfully mundane and news-free day of work in the history of the world, only made worse by the overwhelming anticipation of the season premiere of Sons of Anarchy. But, before Jax and Clay and crew could start their own little bit of mayhem, internet anarchy broke out in a major way as Pete Thamel of The New York Times (remember him?) earned his multi-tasking merit badge for his journalist sash by doing a little Enes Kanter research whil over in Turkey covering the World Championships. We’ll get to that later (and most likely, many times throughout the day), but for now, let’s pay tribute to the return of one of television’s finest shows, which brought an action-packed 60 minutes in its return and finished things off with a shocking final minute. If you aren’t already watching Sons of Anarchy, consider this your heads up. Your life will continue to suck without it. Trust me.
Now, onto some UK news…
– As mentioned above, the biggest news on the college basketball scene right now centers around Kentucky’s newest big man, Enes Kanter and his eligibility. The Sporting News reported earlier in the day that the decision regarding Kanter’s availability this season for the Cats would be decided in the next 10-14 days. However, that news would be overshadowed later when Thamel reported that the general manager from Kanter’s Turkish professional club told him that the club paid the 18-year old around $100,000 in total since he was 14. The story, which of course comes as news to everyone who isn’t in tight with the Turkish club, does not change anything in terms of the timeline of Enes’ eligibility and likely changes nothing in terms of the ruling, since the NCAA already has this information (and has probably been trying to determine the difference or similarities between this situation and an American player in a prep school). But, it does give you something to stress about and a reason to feverishly hit refresh while you should be working on that mid-year review that was due last week. Or is that just me?
– FREE ENES! Still keeping a pulse on all things UK, Kanter’s predecessor in the post, DeMarcus Cousins, Tweeted this out late Tuesday night:
@boogiecousins #FreeEnes #FreeEnes #FreeEnes #FreeEnes
He later replied to a guy named CoachK_251 by saying “naw they just hatin on uk …dnt wanna let em play “. So, there you go. Stop hating and #FreeEnes.
– Given the author of the story, it of course was met with a polarizing reception. Thamel got his typical Twitter kudos from other journalist types on Twitter, including BFF Forever Pat Forde, but caught himself in a mess of unprintable replies from Kentucky fans. One interesting caveat to the story, which Gregg Doyel summarized by saying “Looks like Thamel’s hard-on for Kentucky finally bore some fruit”, is that his first foray into dirt digging on UK might get a little bit of closure this week as the inquiry into Eric Bledsoe’s high school transcripts is expected to be finalized. It might produce something and it might produce nothing. But, it guarantees you at least a little bit more of Pete Thamel in your life. And that’s all you’ve ever really wanted, right?
– In actual basketball news, what was essentially the only remotely interesting development on Tuesday was the commitment of five-star big man power forward Chane Behanan to Louisville. The commitment came as no surprise as Rick Pitino and his staff had put an all-out press on the Bowling Green prep star all summer and Kyle Wiltjer’s commitment to UK had left him as a man without a Big Blue offer. Most believe his verbal is the first piece in what will end up being Rick Pitino’s best class to date and one that, not long ago, looked to have been lost. For a program that seemingly had the bottom fall out since being upset by Michigan State in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, the battle cry had been “Wait until 2011”. After missing out on Marquis Teague and losing Michael Chandler, those hopes looked bleak. Now, with Behanan on board and Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello expected to join him, the Cards and Cats battle in 2011 could turn out to be the biggest game in college baskteball….especially if there is an NBA lockout.
– In NFL news, former Cat Keenan Burton was cut by the Rams. Burton, a fourth round pick by St. Louis in 2008, was dropped to make room for Michael Clayton, a disappointing former first round pick of the Tampa Bay Bucs. Some believed that Burton could find himself in the starting lineup when the season started, but he wasn’t able to overcome the stigma of being injury-prone. Hopefully, he’ll find his footing with another team. He’s as good of a guy as you’ll meet and he certainly deserves another shot.
– In other interesting NFL news, the Jets welcomed back fullback Tony Richardson on Tuesday, a day after cutting him and setting the locker room afire in the process. His release gave the starting fullback to Rex Ryan sweetheart John Conner, who might still start despite his return. Or, it might not. You’ll just have to watch Hard Knocks, I guess.
– And, in case you aren’t burnt out on NFL stories yet (ok, let’s be serious, you stopped reading after the Kanter blurb), the official Miami Dolphins site has a nice write-up on Micah Johnson, who traveled from prep star to undrafted rookie in Giants camp to a roster spot with Miami.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for what should be an incredibly thrilling ride on the waves the Hurricane Pete set into motion Tuesday night. Things get going on Kentucky Sports Radio on 1080 AM at 10 with Mike Decourcy and Gary Parrish, who will discuss all things Enes. Make sure you stick around. See you in a few…