Good morning, fine KSR readers, and welcome to your News and Views on this beautiful Friday morning. On this day, which is the 90th birthday of the National Football League and the 79th birthday of one Don King, we instead start you off with some sad local news. The man known as “Sugar Shizz”, a local dance hero who created what would be later known as the John Wall Dance, is in critical condition after being shot in the head in Okolona. While his friends and family pray for him (and the media does awkward interviews), it only seems fair that we give the man his fair due here for inspiring the only UK player dance more entertaining than Jon Hood doing the Stanky Legg. Mr. Shizz, we wish you the best and a healthy recovery. And, in your honor on this Friday, let’s all get things going by doing The Shizz.
Now on to some UK notes..
– Obviously, the biggest news of the evening was the surprise revelation that the 10th-ranked player in the class of 2011 might become a member of Kentucky’s class of 2010, potentially joining defensive lineman Elliot Porter in the UK’s Christmas in August recruiting bonanza. California small forward DeAndre Daniels, fresh off of his decommitment from the Texas Longhorns, is apparently thinking about decommitting from high school and leaving to become immediately eligible in college. Not surprisingly, the Cats also appear to figure prominently into the decision as Daniels was rumored to possibly commit as early as Thursday night and appear on campus soon after, giving UK a true Fab Five. However, Evan Daniels reported late that while Daniels is definitely reclassifying to 2010, he will be taking a little more time and will visit local has-beens USC and UCLA before also discussing with the Cats. If he does decide to join Cal’s Cats, roster space will not be an issue as the Cats have only 11 scholarship players at the moment.
– On the other side of campus, where they’re playing the sport that generally has our undivided attention this time of the year, Joker Phillips made it abundantly clear that it’s time for guys to step up and take their roster spots – especially at quarterback. While he praised the performance of the offense at Thursday’s practice, he again reiterated that no quarterback is separating himself as the clear-cut starter. With only two weeks remaining until the Governor’s Cup game and GI Joker’s insistance earlier in the summer that he expects his quarterback to win the game instead of simply managing it, the lack of praise is becoming a little concerning. He could be keeping things close to the vest int terms of progress, but short of his “Mike Hartline would probably be the starter today” statement from a few weeks back, the praise of the quarterbacks has been virutally non-existent. We’re not hearing that everyone is stepping up. We’re hearing that everyone is essentially making the same number of mistakes. Joker did say that he expects Saturday’s scrimmage to remove, at the very least, one quarterback from the battle, but there’s no question that it’s time for someone to step up and take charge. So, keep your eyes affixed to the news coming out of football camp on Saturday. It’s going to be moving day for the Kentucky football roster.
– Speaking of moving day, the football team will participate in “Operation: Move In” Friday. All 105 football players will be available to help students move into their dorms beginning at 8:30 am. This new community relations mission is the exact opposite of my first day on campus when I waited in line for food for about 45 minutes before Dennis Johnson cut right in front of me and made it 46 minutes. There will be a pep rally to follow at 10 am.
– Just days removed from KC Ross-Breisner and Dominique Ferguson being ruled ineligible, it was bad news for another pair of names from the past as incoming Auburn freshmen Luke Cothron and Shawn Kemp Jr. were both ruled ineligble. In their defense, playing for Auburn is like being ineligible anyway. They just saved themselves a few months of meaningless work.
– In a little tidbit that I think we missed, it appears that Daniel Orton will not be D-League bound. In an interview on the Orlando Magic’s site, head coach Stan Van Gundy said that he believes that Orton’s best opportunity for development will be with the main club, battling with Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat in practive. General Manager Otis Smith did say, however, that Orton’s main concern as of now is getting himself in basketball shape and making sure his knee is completely healed. Smith also asked if he missed Matt’s piece on Daniel Orton.
– You love Dom Papa. You know you love Dom Papa. Why not support Dom Papa on Facebook? Let’s get him to be the “Y” at a game this year.
– Since we poked a little fun at women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell and his onslaught Carrie Underwood concert tweets, it only seems fair to make you aware of Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley’s love of Sheryl Crow. Dooley tweeted out yesterday that there was “no better break from the training camp grind than 2 hours of Sheryl Crow live”, making one assume that there’s going to be quite the disconnect between players and coaches when it comes to the iPod playlist in the Vols locker room this year. I guess he didn’t get the same memo John Clay did or else he would have awkwardly confessed love for Arcade Fire too…..before burying another jab at this site at the end of his morning links.
– Finally, in case you missed it, Mike Tirico gave a shout-out to the Louisville football team on Monday Night Football. Kind of. When former USF Bull Jason Pierre-Paul was getting slammed around, Jon Gruden went to the tape and talked about Pierre-Paul needing some work. Tirico then mumbled, “You’re not playing Louisville anymore”. Duh. Everyone knows Rick Pitino is the only person still playing Louisville.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day as we make sure your Friday is filled with all of the ridiculous UK football and basketball news that you’d ever dream of. Make sure you stick around. See you in a few…