Today is a Christmas Shopping and Travel day around the Kentucky Sports Radio Compound so we will only be in and out. But here are a few notes for the day ahead….
(1) The UK basketball team has a light practice today and then is scheduled to get most of the next two days off for the Christmas season. There will be no lingering discipline for Bradley and Crawford for the incident that got them benched in the first half of the game yesterday. Both players expressed regret after the game and virtually all involved, including Coach Clyde, suggested that the incident was not a big deal. The Cats played much better when the two young men were in the game and in all actuality, the whole scenario could not have played out much better. In news that is a bit less positive, Derrick Jasper was noticeably limping yesterday and his prognosis is not positive for the next few weeks. I really hope Jasper gets on the court this year, but at this point it is anyone’s guess.
(2) Today Tyrone Appleton, the JUCO point guard from Midland, Texas is finishing up his visit with the Cats after taking in the Tennessee Tech game. Appleton sat in the first row behind the team’s bench and has been in town since late Fri night. Appleton’s connection to UK likely began by his JUCO coach, who played for Coach Billy Clyde when he was an assistant at Baylor. Many believe that Appleton could be a commitment to the Cats sooner rather than later and he will be on our radio show on Thursday to discuss his visit. As for now however, check out this video of Appleton below to see what could be in store for the Cats…..
(3) The final news on the Florida State academic fiasco came out yesterday and it is staggering. 36 players in all were part of the dismissed crew, although some of the group were not traveling due to injury and not academic suspension. While the group certainly takes away from Florida State’s depth, it did not do a great deal to the stars on the team. Virtually all of the top skill players were left, as were many of the defensive secondary and linebackers. Where the Seminoles will be hurt is on the offensive and defensive line, where they lost a number of starters and backups. Long story short, Florida State will not be as bad as they could have been when the scandal broke, but it is still is a strong advantage Kentucky. Whether this puts the Cats in a no-win situation however is up for debate.
(4) UK got two commitments of varying significance and permanence this weekend. The more exciting commitment was from Willie Bohannon, a DE from Alabama that is rated as a 3 star and is a good get from the state. Bohannon committed to UK in part because the other schools recruiting him had yet to give him an offer. He says he still may take visits but wanted to commit to UK “right now.” That likely means the commitment is shaky and could be open for revision….but hey, better to have the commitment than not and just hope for the best. William Johnson, an undersized linebacker from Tennessee also committed to the Cats, and this one will likely stick. Johnson is a guy who makes plays on the field but hasnt gotten high offers due to his 6’3″. 195 pound frame that has scared away most major schools. Johnson however gets it done on the field and the Cats are happy to have him.
(5) Finally, I spent some time watching basketball yesterday apart from UK and found a lot of interesting notes. First, Kentucky Sports Radio’s longtime favorite 2007 player, Michael Beasley is tearing it up. He went for a smooth 40 and 15 yesterday and is putting himself in position to be the #1 overall pick in next year’s draft. If you get a chance this year, watch him….he is something to behold and you will be amazed at just how smooth he is. Second, folks this is the year to buy stock in Memphis. I generally dismiss all Memphis teams as not having the basketball IQ necessary to win big, but this team is different. Chris Douglas-Roberts can score, Joey Dorsey is a beast down low and Derrick Rose is an amazing freshman PG. The guys can get up and down the floor, hit the three point shot, etc. After UNC, they are the best team in the land to me (with Kansas and UCLA right behind). Finally, this year’s Florida team is not the Gator teams of the past. They are very young, their best players are inconsistent and they are having to get key minutes from guys that simply arent producing (hi there flip-flop wearing Dan Werner). When Calathas, Lucas and Parsons get to be Juniors, they will be a force…..but they are ripe for the picking this year and the Cats must stop the losing streak.
We will have more later in the day. Merry Christmas everyone…..