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To the news…..
(1): The basketball Cats are in practice mode this week, with no games until Saturday’s contest against Indiana. Billy Gillispie expressed a lot of admiration for the Indiana team on Sunday, suggesting that they play as hard as any team he has seen this season. In fact, while Indiana is severely lacking on talent, their energy and enthusiasm is quite impressive. The game against Gonzaga last Saturday is a case in point, as the Hoosiers played one of the better teams in the nation tight throughout most of the contest. In a lot of ways, this Indiana team reminds me of Pitino’s first team at UK, although without a style of play that could cause matchup problems for opposing teams. Like Kentucky however, they do have trouble turning the ball over, so Saturday’s game could be quite an ugly affair. Still, like Pitino’s team from 1990, the road will likely be a tough place for the Hoosiers this season, so the Cats are still a heavy favorite.
(2): There is no word yet at this point whether Ramon Harris will be back this week. As we wrote about earlier today, Harris is progressing well and should make a full recovery, but no timetable has yet been released. Minutes played are a topic for everyone, but what has been talked about very little is the decline in playing time for Darius Miller, who had a very tough weekend. He saw his playing time decrease and has seen Kevin Galloway step up (a bit) into the role at the three spot, a position that can see playing time alongside Harris when he returns. While much of the talk over the last couple of days has been Porter vs Liggins, Gillispie seems to also be fond of playing both guys together and that has cut directly into Miller’s playing time as well. One would suspect that this week of practice will play a crucial role in the time this weekend and we could see any combination of the above guys, or even players like Landon Slone and Mark Krebs, as Gillispie tries to find the core to lead the team.
(3): Jeff Drummond of TCP reports tonight that UK has amped up its interest in PF Glenn Bryant of Oak Hill, a young man who is a 3 star player with a great deal of athleticism, similar in style to AJ Stewart at the same time. Drummond has an interview with the young man in which he reports that he is qualified and that UK and other schools have increased interest since that news. UK’s interest in Bryant is a bit surprising to me, especially since the roster of Harrellson/Stevenson/Pilgrim/Orton as a likely big man rotation next year might suggest that guard play could be a needed priority. But Bryant is a great athlete and it will be interesting to see how Gillispie’s interest continues to develop.
(4): Finally, a word on the Bill Keightley tribute yesterday. I am told that the uniforms (seen below) as a color scheme may be used again, although the Keightley names are unlikely to be repeated. The players spoke afterwards about how much they liked the colors and the University is likely to use them again at some point as a special color scheme. I think a lot of the thoughts on the uniforms vary depending on age….every young person I have talked to loves them and older fans dont like the addition of black into the color scheme. For me, I thought they looked pretty sharp and I think recruits will LOVE them. I hope we see them again. Hey, if we can wear denim and Silver metallic, there is nothing wrong with black…..but they gotta fix those ridiculous pants.