Good morning and welcome to your holiday Thursday. To some, this might be Christmas Eve Eve. But, to others, this day has a different meaning. This is Festivus! The holiday entered the hearts of America thanks to the beloved duo of Frank Costanza and Cosmo Kramer and used heartwarming holiday pasttimes like airing of grievances and feats of strength to become a notable piece of pop culture. In celebration of this great holiday, I had wanted to put a pole up in the KSR Compound, but it turns out that we’re not allowed after the little fiasco involving our former leader at last year’s holiday party. So, instead, I thought I might go through all the ways I have problems with you people (most notably my wife, who decided to read me about 250 Facebook status updates while I was trying to write this), but there are far too many. So, instead, let’s just jump right into things and hope the NCAA grants us a little Festivus miracle.
Now onto some UK notes…
– There was a game at a Rupp and a record-setting performance provided plenty of fodder for discusssion, but there was still only one subject that UK fans wanted to discuss – Enes Kanter. Yet again, a 24-hour period passed without any ruling on his eligibility. But, instead of just dead air and website refreshing, Wednesday brought an interesting twist thanks to an interview by Mike DeCourcy with Enes’ father, Dr. Mehmet Kanter. Kanter told DeCourcy that if the NCAA suspends his son for the entire season, he would return to play for Kentucky next year. While this, of course, comes with all of the optimistic fanfare of an absurdly talented team in 2011, the statement’s clear intention was to again publicly reaffirm Enes’ desire to play for the University of Kentucky and be a college basketball student-athlete. The sincerity of this statement can be determined if a one-year suspension is what is handed out, but, for now, it serves as an interesting note on a pending request. Let’s just hope this gets wrapped up on Thursday.
– We mentioned this earlier, but it bears noting again. If there was a singular positive to take away from the game against Winthrop, it was not just the way Doron Lamb scored the ball, but the abundance of wide-open shots that came out of running the dribble-drive. UK’s offense was fluid and unselfish and allowed the Cats to get good looks. The offense has seemed to improve greatly in every game since Notre Dame and today showcased it at its finest.
– Part of the post-game love fest surrounded an unlikely character as Eloy Vargas looked like a basketball player for the first time. His 8 points and 3 rebounds earned some serious praise from Coach Cal, as well as a few teammates. While the praise was surely deserved, it also represents a bit of a confirmation of Josh Harrellson’s increasingly reliable status as a rebounder. Jorts collected 10 rebounds and essentially went unnoticed. Well, almost. Coach Cal said after the game that he was not pleased with the his senior big man’s effort and decided to insert him back into the game with three minutes left in the blowout. The motive? Well, according to Cal, it was to remind him what it was like to play only garbage minutes at the end of the game and to remind him that it’s going to take continued hard work to keep his spot in the rotation firm. Seems like a more efficient way of coaching than a bathroom stall, but what do I know?
– In case you decided to spend your Wednesday night watching the CMA Country Christmas special instead of a little high school hoops action, you missed a blue chip performance from UK commit Michael Gilchrist. Gilchrist finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks, but made a couple of big plays down the stretch for his St. Patrick’s team, which would eventually end on a game-winning three. In summary, he’s good.
– The football team broke away for some Christmas quality time with their families, but not before a little quarterback news trickled out. Ryan Mossakowski will play baseball this spring for UK. It is not believed to affect his ability to throw the ball over them there mountains and shouldn’t interfere with football. On a related note, Mike Hartline is available for your rec league kickball team.
– Speaking of football, the Cats did their best to shake off that awful sitgma that’s lingered over football players everywhere since Ox was cast on Saved By The Bell and announced that 37 players achieved a 3.0 or higher. Of that 37, 7 had a 4.0. Congrats to those guys and, if getting a few more wins means studying a little less, I think we have a decent cushion. Think about it.
– Some news from the world of Twitter: Daniel Orton will have surgery Thursday on his troublesome knee. Coach Cal replied and said he would be in his prayers. I just commend Daniel for waiting until Winter Break so he doesn’t have to miss any of those distance learning courses.
– Yet again, not a good night for the SEC in basketball. Furman thumped South Carolina and North Texas blasted LSU. However, Florida managed to escape Radford and Arkansas pulled away from Texas Southern. Go Cats?
– Bad news for little brother on a night where they slaughtered our mutual friend. Mikey 2 Dope – government name: Mike Marra – is likely to miss the UK game now as he’s out 2-4 weeks with an ankle injury. Louisville fans better just hope he doesn’t transfer to Ohio State.
– I heard Urban Meyer did a great job on ESPN. Good for him. I hope his kids have cable.
– Finally, FEEL THE POWER! That’s all.
That’s it for now. Stick around the rest of the day as we break the Enes Kanter news (yes, I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess Thursday is the day) and talk all things UK. The party gets started at 10 am with Kentucky Sports Radio on 1080 and won’t end until someone pins Bryan the Intern. Make sure you stick around. See you in a few…