Good morning, my sweet KSR brothers and sisters, and welcome to yet another day we will bill as one of the “firsts” of the John Calipari era. In less than 24 hours, the Kentucky basketball team will take the court in their first scrimmage under the former Memphis head man, meaning that by this time tomorrow, guarantees of a Final Four and an eighth national championship should be flooding the message boards of every UK site on the planet. The Blue-White game is usually a high-scoring affair and this year’s version shouldn’t be much different than those of years past as UK showcases easily the most offensively talented team of the last decade and, quite possibly, the most gifted unit in the country. John Wall will no doubt be sensational, Patrick Patterson will be steady and forceful and the handful of newcomers and returning players will look to showcase their skills. But, as with every Blue-White game, there will be a star that you didn’t quite expect and might not actually live up to their strong showing throughout the season, which I find to be the most intriguing part. Will Josh Harrellson come in and knock down some more threes? Will Mark Krebs go up and dunk on someone? Or, will one of the elder statesmen like Ramon Harris or Perry Stevenson step up and dominate in a way that will make Matt Jones declare them much improved and ready to make a big-time impact? Regardless, we can count on this being the start of what we all know will be a fun ride – and one that the whole nation will be watching.
Now, onto some more notes…..
– Late Tuesday evening, reports started to leak out that the UK basketball team would be holding a practice at Freedom Hall on Sunday. According to Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal, holding an off-campus practice or scrimmage and publicizing it would be an NCAA violation and DeWayne Peevy would not confirm or deny it, sending Jerry Tipton scrambling for his thinking cap and the NCAA rules book. The unprecedented move (as far as I know) is an absolutely brilliant one, in my opinion. Besides the obvious benefit of connecting yet again with the largest UK alumni group in the state (if it’s open to the public on a completley unofficial status), this serves as yet another blow to a Louisville program that has been grasping for some positive headlines over the summer. From the day that they were upset by Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament, the Louisville program has been on the wrong end of nearly every story. Early entries, de-commitments, Rick Pitino and arrests haven’t given Louisville fans a lot to smile about so far. And this certainly doesn’t help. It might not mean much once the ball starts bouncing in terms of their day-to-day operations, but this is a definite shot across the bow of the Louisville ship and another way that John Calipari has stoked the fires of this rivalry despite insisting all summer that he isn’t concerned with it much. As a UK fan, you have to love it.
– However, no matter how exciting the news of the Louisville practice was, the hottest topic on the message boards was the idea and subsequent approval of the renaming of the Joe B. Hall Wildcat Lodge as the Wildcat Coal Lodge. Many people thought the name change to be disrespectful to UK’s former coach, although he would say he ultimately didn’t care, and pretty much everyone else opted to debate the relevance of coal as an energy source and it’s positive and negative effects on the Bluegrass and its residents. Me, I just wondered why no one pointed out the obvious. Joe Craft, you might be one hell of a business man, but you’re one uncreative son of a gun. The name has no relevance to the building, the basketball team or the school and it doesn’t even serve as any marketing purpose for your company. I mean, would “Wildcat Alliance Lodge” or the “Alliance Resource Wildcat Lodge” have been too much for the board to commit to? It’s like Boone’s Butcher Shop dishing out $7 million to rename the building the Wildcat Beef Lodge. Except that would make way more sense than what you chose. As an alum, I’m grateful for your donation. But as a human being, I amazed at the lack of thought that went into this. I don’t think I’ll ever understand it. Even Frank Zappa and Gwyneth Paltrow think you dish out stupid names.
– In some other political-type news, the Herald-Leader reported that former call-in show show topic and current Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer is mulling the idea of running for governor. The KSR message boards, as usual, came to life with opinions near and far and a quick straw poll of the commenters on this site revealed only one flaw with #32’s chances: his flat top. No worries, though, Richie. You still have plenty of time to get yourself a nice little combover and a few highlights before officially declaring.
– Although it’s been noted several times, it is worth mentioning again that five star power forward Terrence Jones will be in attendance at the Blue-White game on Wednesday. Jones, a 6’8″ 220 pounder from Portland, ranks as the #3 power forward in the class of 2010 according to Rivals and actually flew into Lexington Tuesday (according to his Twitter). I’m sure Dustin will have more this afternoon because I’ve got nothing besides that. Well, that and that you probably shouldn’t chant his name unless you want to unleash the fury of you-know-who.
– In football news, much to the chagrin of Rich Brooks, the focus so far this week seems to be on uniforms rather than a very pivotal SEC matchup. Brooks again made it clear today that the team would not be wearing black uniforms on Saturday and late Tuesday, Mitch Barnhart issued an open letter to UK fans about the “Black Out“. Barnhart insists that black uniforms were never part of the plan when the marketing ploy was created and urged UK fans to still show up in all of the black gear they’ve no doubt stocked up on over the past few years. I think it’s safe to say that moving forward, we will be seeing a “Blue Out” or a “White Out” when UK decides to get all gimmicky.
– Rich Brooks also announced today that for Saturday’s game, DeQuin Evans and John Conner will serve as team captains. Conner has been exceptional in every game that he’s played in this season and Evans is starting to finally show why Brooks had so much hope for him in the pre-season.
– On a non-UK note, I’m absolutely thrilled about the NBA being back. The League seems to be a pretty polarizing topic with UK fans, but if you tuned in tonight to watch Rajon Rondo play against the Cavs, you noticed one very important thing. Rasheed Wallace has gone to the fro and his gray hair guarantees that he will look like Don King by All-Star Weekend. How can you not love that?
That’s it for now. This old man needs to hit the sack. But, stay tuned throughout Wednesday as we get you all geared up for the big scrimmage and we continue to keep our eyes toward the big Homecoming football game on Saturday. It’s a great time to be a Wildcat. See you in a few…