Normally we reserve this space for those we want to honor and whose good work we feel needs attention on a larger scale. Over the years, we have had philosophers, athletes, politicians, authors and Bryan the Intern in this hallowed space and being the name before a “News and Views” is often considered to be the crowning achievement of a mediocre life. But today is an exception, for the name in front of the post is not that we honor, but one that we are baffled by, the man whose popularity magically still exists, Soulja Boy. Now I grant you that I am not up to date on the current rap scene. I basically gave up on the genre after Eminem stopped and most of the music today seems to sound very similar, follows no logical direction and is virtually incomprehensible to me (like listening to Chris Cross attempt to read a James Joyce novel). So I may not be qualified to determine what is and is not good music for today’s kids. But to me, Soulja Boy is awful. I watched the BET Awards Pre-Show (which surprisingly contained no appearances from Larry the Cable Guy, Sarah Palin, Micheal Richards or Don Imus) and noticed that somehow Soulja Boy has a new song. He was on stage wearing “skinny jeans” that were drooping to the ground and the music was so mind-numbingly bad that I asked the Turkey Hunter to please find a Creed album just for distraction. I was amazed that Soulja Boy could still have a career…I mean isnt he named after his one famous song? I thought doing something that lame, signaled a death nail for a career. But somehow he persists, and finds himself popular enough to sing at awards shows. I know every generation believes the next generation’s music stinks..it is a rite of passage. But can we all agree that this generation has the worst music in history? Is that a yes? Good, lets get to some notes:
— Calipari was all the talk around the state and the country today, as his quote that Draft Day was the biggest day in UK basketball history made the rounds. Now as I have already said, I think the quote was ridiculous (and please emailers and texters, spare me the “he did it for recruiting” nonsense….I know that, it doesnt make the factual comment any less absurd) and today Calipari offically backed off. He said that the comment was aimed at the “future, not the past” and suggested he was saying it was the biggest day in UK history going forward. That of course makes no sense and Calipari has been mocked by commentators ranging from Bill Simmons to the PTI guys. While I think the statement is ridiculous (and those that defend it, while blasting DAN ISSEL, KEVIN GREVEY and JACK GIVENS remind me of those in the Clyde era who crushed Louie Dampier and Kenny Walker), I also think those that are angry about it are missing the boat. Look we all know Calipari is a very good coach, an amazing recruiter and a program builder like none other. We also know he is (like many great coaches) a bit of a BS artist. It comes with the territory with a guy like Calipari. What he has done at UK has been unprecedented and his recruiting going forward will likely never be matched. But along with that comes some statements that just make you shake your head. This is one….laugh it off…realize its silly….make jokes (“the greatest day in UK history” comments when insignificant things happen in the future will be a KSR staple), but dont get upset. We all know Calipari “gets it” and even when he veers off course a little, give the guy a break. Plus we all know the real “greatest day in UK history” was the day Konner Tucker committed.
— Calipari also said to expect more early Draft picks in the future and volunteered Darius Miller and Deandre Liggins as potential early entrants next year. Now I have learned to never underestimate Calipari or the NBA Draft. But even in the land of hyperbole, that statement shocked me. Darius Miller may potentially have a future at the next level, but he has a lot of improvement in terms of aggressiveness and defense to get there. But Deandre Liggins? After next year? I love the confidence, but I would personally like to see Liggins play one complete game on both ends of the court before I start pencilling in him as an early entry.
— It was interesting to hear Calipari speak about the potential for Josh Harrellson to be a contributor next year. Jorts (who is close to being part of the inaugural KSR Hall of Fame class) has been working hard all summer and his weight loss was striking when I saw him two weeks ago at the Bardstown camp. He told me then he was in the best shape of his life and felt good about the upcoming season. With Kanter, Jones and Vargas, there is potential for Jorts to see some time in a backup role, if he puts in the work. Jorts is a fan (and blog) favorite and here is hoping he reaches that potential and becomes a rotation player next year.
— We havent spoken a lot about St Xavier’s Daylen Hall’s commitment to play for the football Cats, but it has had an itneresting turn of events. Hall committed to the Cats over the weekend but then did an interview where he said he was committed but hoped Notre Dame, Cincy and Louisville would recruit him. Not good karma. Joker Phillips however apparently talked to the St Xavier coach and today he said his commitment was firm. Hall is not being recruited by many highly touted programs and UK is by far his best offer. But he is lightning fast and as we have seen, that is Joker’s #1 quality for the team. UK could legitimately have one of the five quickest classes in America when it is all said and done.
— Finally, I am planning on going to the Vegas Summer League to see the former Cats in their first pro action. I willl be out there for four days and will get to see the following games:
Friday July 9
1 PM — Denver vs. Dallas
3 PM — Houston vs. Phoenix
5 PM — Detroit vs. LA Lakers
7 PM — Golden State vs. New Orleans
Saturday July 10
1 PM — Toronto vs. Phoenix
3 PM — LA Lakers vs. Denver
5 PM — Detroit vs. Golden State
7 PM — Dallas vs. Houston
Sunday July 11
1 PM — New York vs. Denver
3 PM — Portland vs. Houston
5 PM — Washington vs. Golden State
7 PM — Miami vs. New Orleans
Monday July 12
1 PM — LA Lakers vs. New York
3 PM — Sacramento vs. Detroit
5 PM — Dallas vs. Milwaukee
7 PM — Washington vs. LA Clippers
As you can see, Patterson, Wall, Cousins and Bledsoe will all be in action and Bledsoe’s first game will be against John Wall in a game that UK fans have to want to see. I will be giving coverage on here for the entire trip and hope to get a lot of great stuff for the site. You can purchase the games online, or just read about them (and potentially the Live Blog) on here.
Finally, on Wednesday morning we will have an announcement about a new venture that I will be beginning. It is a very exciting time for us and I hope you will take the chance on Wednesday to stop by and see what is in store.
More news all day……..