Someone sent me this picture tonight and it got me to thinking about a very real fact that is upon us. There is a very real chance that three of UK’s most talented players in my lifetime are about to play their last game in Rupp Arena in just four days. It is a bit striking when you think about it in those terms, but three of the four pictures you see above are likely to be in the NBA Draft this Spring and chances are that all will be Lottery picks. John Wall is a given to be the #1 pick, Demarcus Cousins will be in contention to go soon after and Patrick Patterson is going through Senior Day and seems certain to leave after his graduation this Spring. This has been a magical run for these guys and it is strange to think of them leaving. Over the course of the next few days, we will be focusing on the Seniors, as we should. But for all intents and purposes, it is Senior Day for these guys as well, and we all should appreciate just how good they are. Wall and Cousins will be the highest UK draft picks since Bowie and Mashburn, while Patrick Patterson is the heart and soul of a program and will graduate one of the most popular players to put on the uniform. Tune tomorrow night and on Senior day and savor this group. They wont be here much longer.
Some notes to get you ready:
— The talk around UK today is the collective worry about going to Athens to play Georgia. The Bulldogs are 4-0 at home against the other SEC East opponents, and most of those wins have been convincing. For UK, a win is becoming more critical after Vanderbilt eeked out a win against the Gators on Tuesday night, meaning UK will need to sweep its last two to win the conference crown outright. The key tonight will be to stop Trey Thompkins, a player that has given UK fits and who Patrick Patterson told me earlier this year might be the most talented offensive forward in the rest of the SEC. Containing him will be priority #1 as the Cats try to get a key win in their last road game.
— Recruiting is on everyone’s minds it seems and during my appearance on Larry Glover’s show today, it was topic #1. Jerry Meyer or Rivals.com had some not so great recruiting news in his whispers column today. Josh Selby’s mother noted that of the four favorites for the star point guard’s services, the UK staff was the one she knew the least. In addition, his team’s movement through the high school postseason may make him miss his scheduled visit to UK this weekend, likely leaving Kansas as his continued leader. Also Meyer noted that Moses Abraham, a 2010 big man that UK has shown some interest in, may be close to committing to Georgetown, a school that has been recruiting him for some time. As of now UK has not offered, but he is one of the backup plans to the Leslie/Jones/Kanter grouping at the big man positions.
— There is a bizarre story out of Texas involving Guy Morris, the former UK coach who left the school for Baylor. Apparently a local newspaper printed an article about someone on his team (Texas A&M Commerce) being arrested in a drug raid and his team didnt take too kindly to the story. So they went out and stole every copy of the newspaper to prevent the story from getting out. They are now being considered for theft prosecution charges and Guy Morris said that if it happens he will “be the first one out the door in handcuffs.” An odd story all the way around and proof once again that when the cats get coaches from Texas, strange things will continue to happen.
— Louisville lost badly to Marquette and some will say they are now on the bubble. I dont believe that as too many other bubble teams are losing too. They got their magical win when they won at UCONN on Sunday. However one win in the conference tournament would solidify the big going forward. No team is more Jekyll and Hyde in America than this Louisville team.
— If you were wondering why there were so many Jon Hood stories today, he was made available to the media and they all took the “Hood wants to play more” angle. I am not sure if this is the year for Hood, but there will be playing time for the taking next year and I think Jon will get his chance at that point. People who give up on him now are quitting too early…the kid can play, and if his defense improves, he will see the court.
— I havent got to say it yet because we were on the road, but its absurd Tony Kornheiser got suspended. Mr. Tony is my radio and writing hero and I listen to a podcast of his radio show every day. Everyone in the media, especially the sports media, believe they can say whatever they want about any athlete or coach, but if said about them, they get defensive and recoil. Hannah Storm dresses provocatively (I disagree with Mr Tony and like it), and it isnt a shock that Tony made a comment…ESPN would not have cared at all had she not worked for the network…to suspend him is ludicrous and it is why the MSM can be ridiculous. At least CBS allowed us to make fun of Seth Davis nonstop.
If you saw below, you know that Beisner’s child is ok after surgery and we get another chance to do work for CBS during Championship Week and the NCAA Tournament. Tonight is a big night and we will have a LIVE BLOG beginning at 7 pm. We are doing an hour pre-game because we didnt do any for the last two weeks, so join in and get ready to chat.
More all day….