This has been an absolutely crazy day. First you get the story about Nick Saban using some term that I had never heard while telling an off-color story, all of which leads to a mini-controversy, followed by a dialogue on race relations in America. Then you get Joe Biden, calling Barack Obama a “clean” black man, thus finding a way to be both incomprehensible and offensive in the same sentence. Then we find out about the most inconsiderate man on Earth, Terry Truax, who decides that instead of letting one of his players enjoy his limelight with his newfound college team, he will go in the paper and trash him to a Kentucky beat writer. Very considerate of you my man…..with friends like these, who needs critics.
But all of that was just a preview for the story that came out tonight. Apparently the woman you see above, Loretta Sanchez a Congresswoman from California, has quit the Congressional Hispanic Caucus because the leader of the caucus, Rep. Joe Baca, called her a whore. Yes you read that correctly. Now I have to admit that it doesnt surprise me that one of the top news stories of the day involves two public figures calling each other such nasty names. But I have to admit that I never believed the two individuals in question would both be members of Congress. How do you think that conversation came about? Did Sanchez come up to Baca and say, “I have a great idea for a piece of Social Security legislation that would…..” only to have Baca say: “Shut up whore.” I am not sure, but it is good to see our government leaders acting professionally in the halls of Congress.
Now onto the news….
(1) There may have never been an odder recruitment story than the continued bizarre nature of the Marshall Moses story. Today’s news about Marshall’s coach calling him “overrated” and saying that Kentucky fans should not worry about him may be the strangest development yet in this mysterious saga. I keep getting asked about this whole scenario and what I think, so I will give my five thoughts on this, before we let Marshall go the way of Kovortney Barber, Dan Werner, Richard Semrau and other internet recruitments of the past:
(1) If Moses plays elsewhere next year, meaning he gets qualified, I think UK made a mistake not offering him. I respect the folks who dont think as much of Moses’ talent, but I think he would have been a great player for UK.
(2) There are obviously issues with Moses that at this point we dont know. Whether those issues are related to academics or attitude, coaches simply dont say what his coach did…..and regardless of how rude and unclassy it was, it is nevertheless a red flag.
(3) Regardless of either of the two issues above, the scheduling issues on the four visits was a mistake. There never should have been a situation where Moses was invited for four visits or was left with the impression that he had four visits, only to have them cancelled.
(4) We wont know the truth for some time on all of this. Marshall’s story remains to be told and as many have pointed out, we only have Marshall’s side at this point. We may never know what UK was thinking….but in the future we will either find out that (a) his grades, attitude or talent turned UK away, correctly or (b) UK let a good player go for no reason. Only time will tell.
And with that, we will let the name Marshall Moses fade away from the blog for the time being….
(2) With the staff’s decision on Moses, it is clear that the success of the once promising 07 recruiting class, totally comes down to Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas. I will continue to report on what we hear about backup plans such as Joseph Katuka and Josh White…..and it may be the case that these young men turn out to be very good to great players at UK. But this staff had big plans for the 07 class. Guys like Julian Vaughn, JJ Hickson, Gary Johnson, Anthony Randolph, etc were considered and actively pursued. All have gone elsewhere. The main cheeses however have always been Patterson and Lucas…..they were always the apple of Tubby’s eye. This is it however. A class of Williams, Stewart, Pettigrew, White and Katuka is simply not a class in my opinon that can be a building block for an NCAA title….however Patterson, Lucas, Stewart, Pettigrew and Williams, when combined with the Freshmen from this year, can. One project in a class is ok….four is simply too many. The Cats need Patterson and Lucas (who were both picked for the Jordan event in Madison Square Garden, which may mean they cannot play in the Derby Classic), and ultimately the year hinges on their decision.
(3) We might as well get started being excited for the 08 class, because UK’s efforts (thankfully) are increasing quickly. The big news is the amount of headway that has been made on big man Kenny Frease from Ohio. Frease is the real deal, a talented player ranked in the Top 30 by some services, who has always been considered a recruit that would be great for any program. Frease was discovered initially by the Xavier staff and even though he has been pursued by other Midwest powers (Michigan St, Kansas, Illinois, etc), it was always considered to be Xavier’s to lose because of the close relationship he has had with them. Well now where other schools have failed, UK has succeeded, causing Frease to say that UK is his co-leader now with Xavier. It is no secret that a scoring big man is one of the two top priorities of the 08 group (along with Darius Miller), an early commitment (meaning summer) by Darius Miller, could go a long way to making that class powerful.
I hope you watched Kevin Durant tonight. He is simply amazing…..one of the best college Freshmen I have seen since the best ever, Chris Jackson. He is special and I love him in the college game….watch him while you still can. And also, check out the Lopez Twins at Stanford. I watched those guys in the Derby Classic and fell in love with their games. They are exciting big men who will be a force for years to come…..plus one of them looks like Justin Guarini, which is always nice.
And finally, there is this. Is that Bill Shakespeare I see over there……