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The how good is Jon Hood Tuesday News and Views

Mop.

Good morning ladies and gents.  El Capitan Jones is traveling the country in an effort to further generate the unmatched hype for the earth-shattering events that will revolutionize the blogging industry later this week…or doing something of the sorts.  In his place, he’s left me to get you geared up for this beautiful Tuesday afternoon and, with Ole Miss failing to get me fired up, you’re stuck kicking your Tuesday off with a debate that’s been raging between my friends and I:  Just how good is UK commit Jon Hood?  (Plus, we need something to soak up that Kentucky Ale so your comments don’t get drenched)

I’ve openly stated my love for the senior from Madisonville North Hopkins on this blog – sometimes to a point that might have triggered Chris Hansen to register a screen name here – but what he’s doing this season for the Maroons seems to be getting taken for granted because we all expect him to be special.  According to an article on Friday by the Herald-Leader’s Mike Fields (what originally sparked the debate), Hood is averaging 28.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.6 blocks per game while playing through numerous double teams for his 8-10 team.  When you take those stats over to the KHSAA basketball page, which admittedly doesn’t have every team’s stats, Hood’s numbers would place him as the second-leading scorer in the state and land him as the #4 rebounder. Not bad for a guard on a team that most say is mediocre at best.  Right now, the only way Jon Hood wouldn’t be named Mr. Basketball is if Rod Blagojevich takes over the KHSAA between now and the end of the season.

But, no one doubts that Hood is the best player in the state this year.  The argument between us was over the chances that Hood is named a McDonald’s All-American when the roster is finalized in mid-February, giving UK a player in the game for only the 4th time this decade.  Rivals still has Hood ranked as the #7 shooting guard in the country and as the 32nd overall player, down from earlier last summer before injuries hampered him on the AAU circuit, but could his play this year help nail down a spot in the all-star game?  It’s purely speculation at this point, but that’s what makes the internet so fun!  The game will take 20 total players and there are certain players who you’d assume already have their tickets punched at the two-guard spot based on name (Xavier Henry, Lance Stephenson, Kenny Boynton), but Hood might actually have a pretty darn good shot.  Why? 

Well…because I said so.  I’ll be honest, I really lost track of where this was going.  It’s bedtime.  Basically, what Hood is doing this year is special and we shouldn’t take him for granted.  He has a much better than zero chance of being the first UK-bound Kentucky high-schooler to play in the All-American game since Rex Chapm….oh, I forgot we weren’t supposed to compare them to each other or else the message boards will get angry.   *NOTE:  Rajon Rondo does not count

Well, you know what I mean.

Now a couple of quick notes….

(1) As things continue to heat up before next Wednesday’s signing day, the Cats landed another player for the 2009 class in the form of DE Patrick Ligon, according to The Cats Pause.  The 6’5″, 255 pound lineman from Memphis rates as a two-star prospect and had committed to Memphis as an offensive lineman earlier in the week before deciding to take a shot at defense for the Cats.  Ligon is rated as a 40 overall on ESPN, which is tied for lowest in the Cats class with Boyle County’s Jordan Aumiller, Georgia O-lineman Kevin Mitchell and fellow Memphis-ian(ite) Martavius Neloms, who also committed this week.  But, what does ESPN know?

(2)  If you’re a real numbers lover, then you’ll be very happy to know that the NCAA released the final stats for this past football season.  There are quite a few interesting stats when you really start looking at them, but some of the most interesting:

     – UK was 4th in the nation in fewest sacks allowed (1st in the SEC)

     – The Cats were 40th in overall defense, up from 67th the previous year

     – They were 3rd in the nation in kickoff returns

     – The defense ranked 13th in fewest first downs allowed

(3)  The official blog over at UKAthletics.com is running through some interviews with players who just finished their rookie NFL season.  They had a good interview with Wesley Woodyard last week and are posting one with Keenan Burton today, but until they itemize their posts so we can link them (hint, hint UK), you’ll just have to go over and scan it until you find it yourself.  Besides, they also don’t offer you the opportunity to patronize fine businesses such as Boone’s Butcher Shop, Kentucky Ale and the print shop over here  —–>

(4)  Jody Demling had a great wrap-up of this weekend’s high school basketball action including a monster game by Dakotah Euton.

(5)  Notre Dame lost again this evening.  I’d expect them to move up a spot or two in next week’s poll.  In fact, I might move this note up ahead of the football stats by the next time you look at this.

That’s it for now.  Stay tuned throughout the day as we get you set for Andy Kennedy and the Runnin’ Sexually Frustrated Rebels of Ole Miss.  Evan will get you the Cinco de Starters-o and Fake Gimel will be doing his thing as we lead up to the single greatest event in the history of the internet this week.  See you in a few…

Article written by Thomas Beisner