We have all been there…thanks to @UKMakeouts
Typing while on a plane next to a snorer and behind a farter on my way back from LA to Nashville:
— The SEC Tournament is one of my favorite events of the year and I am VERY excited it is here. John Calipari and I disagree on very little, but on this issue we differ strongly. The SEC Tournament is probably the best UK fan showcase of the year and brings out the best in the Big Blue Nation. That is even more the case when the event is in Nashville and I expect the city to be flooded with blue for a few days. For me personally, this is my 22nd SEC Tournament to attend in person, including the last 17 in a row. I began attending the events in 1989 with my grandfather and continued the tradition after his passing with a group of college friends that later became the KSR crew. Some of my best memories are from the event (ranging from the tornado, to the Atlanta shooter, to the Barry Booker meeting, to watching the Unforgettables get the title in Birmingham, to beating the Hogs in the 90s to Ybor City with Mosley and Macon Vol Fan, to a massive snowstorm in Lexington to Billy Clyde’s demise to losing a KSR member in college to the seductive siren song of a 40 year old woman on Bourbon Street to last year’s insanity on the way to a national title). Literally every year brings something memorable and this year we will have three folks (me, Drew and Tyler) on hand to document it. On a personal level, this is the least busy I have been in at least 5 years at the event (radio being the only responsibility) which means more time to hang in Nashville. See you there!
— On the court, the importance of Friday’s game cannot be overstated. The Cats might be in the Tournament anyway, some projections have them currently not even in the “Last Four In” scenario, and virtually all the bubble teams will take a loss over the next four days. But if UK wants to be comfortable, not have to sweat profusely on Selection Sunday and look good for missing the “First Four” event in Dayton, a win on Friday would help a great deal. The bracket opened up a bit for Kentucky…I don’t like Missouri sitting there for a possible Saturday game, but it would be the third in third days for them and that is always a tough scenario. But with this team, getting a win is more important than looking ahead. One against a very winnable team and we are in…that seems like a realistic scenario and one that could make Nashville very fun this weekend.
— I was glad to see a number of Kentucky players get SEC awards this week, but none more so than the Community Service award going to Nerlens Noel. As we have showcased a number of times on this site, the work Noel has done off the court since he has been in Lexington has been as impressive as the many shots he blocked. In my view, he would have been SEC Player of the Year absent the injury (he is First team anyway), and his contributions in such a short time at UK will be remembered. I don’t expect him to come back, but I also believe that the decision has not been made yet. Either way, he is a great kid who UK fans can be proud of.
— Today Dominique Hawkins’ coach noted that he would not walk on for any school and that he will play with a scholarship somewhere. At this point UK hasn’t offered and there is reason why. They could have a full roster next year, something we didnt think was even possible just a few months ago. The Cats are waiting to see on Julius Randle (who decides in one week) and Andrew Wiggins (who will be longer). My guess is that if one of those two says no, or the entire team goes pro, then Hawkins gets an offer. If either of those happen, my guess is he accepts. It is hard to not root for getting Randle/Wiggins, because it would make UK a virtual NBA All Star team. But Hawkins would also be a great kid to have on campus, so from my viewpoint, it is a win-win scenario.
— Finally, I will be back on the radio tomorrow with Ryan and Drew live from the Clear Channel studios in Nashville. I appreciate Ryan, Tom Leach, Mike Pratt, Jared Lorenzen, Alan Cutler, Dan Reiffer and the roundtable guys filling in during our trip to the West Coast. I can’t wait to get back on the airwaves as we have must to discuss. Plus remember, KSR IS LIVE IN NASHVILLE ON FRIDAY AT WILDHORSE SALOON beginning at 9 am local time. We hope you will come join us for what is always a fun scene.
We shall see you tomorrow morning…get ready, this weekend will be fun.