Well this week is off to a bang, isn’t it? Just when you thought the Memorial Day weekend was going to close quietly, Coach Cal stoked his own fire a bit Monday night by taking aim at “The Triumvirate” and, my personal favorite part, their “compadres”. The wrath of Cal was rooted in the the silence of the Forde/Thamel/O’Neil over not just Brett McMurphy’s Monday story about his generosity, but the consistent closed eyes and finger-in-your-ears routine they exhibit regularly when Kentucky is portrayed positively. As regular followers of Kentucky basketball, you and I see and hear the positive stories that surround the program. From Cal’s charity to the story of DeAndre Liggins’ journey to the improved grades and APR to Haiti to even the goofy story of Patrick Patterson giving Fake Gimel’s wife a ride home, the off-the-court positivity that’s come with this return to on-court success has been abundant. The problem is, the rest of the world doesn’t always know that because those stories don’t make waves on Twitter. “The Triumvirate” and their “compadres” have no problem re-tweeting negativity or going on the air and “accidentally” saying things like UK is on probation. And that’s part of the reason why it’s so acceptable for others to bag on Calipari or say things about UK that are not true. When the rest of the world is only getting one side of the message fed to them, they assume it to be the truth. Apparently, that has Calipari a little fed up. Can’t say I blame him either. As we’ve said thousands of times, the bellowing of the negative will only grow louder with each success and if we ever reach a point where people aren’t taking shots at Cal or seen as openly biased toward him, that’s a sign things aren’t going exactly as planned. But, having said that, their reaction if Kentucky lands Tony Woods will surely be amusing.
Now onto some other UK notes…
– Prior to Calipari’s tweet, the most notable and easily most perplexing headline as the announcement that Derrick Jasper has joined Billy Gillispie’s staff at Texas Tech. Gillispie’s tenure at Kentucky was marred by a number of ugly incidents and more than a handful of black marks, but none more than the saga of Derrick Jasper. He was rushed back onto the court after microfracture surgery, which caused further complications, and ultimately ended with him transferring to UNLV on terms that were not exactly stellar. Now things seem to have come full circle and he’s going to work for Clyde. As far as their previous relationship, I guess that’s just what happens when a tornado meets a volcano. This arrangement is so strange that I’m not sure another thousand words could properly even begin to make me understand it.
– Summer recruiting is in full swing and things took an interesting turn over the weekend when Mitch McGary said UConn has asked him to reclassify to the 2011 class. The 6’10” five-star forward was on an unofficial visit to Storrs over the weekend and Tweeted out Monday that the staff has asked him to think about the switch. As you know, Kentucky has ramped up their push for his services over the last few weeks. If he does indeed decide to reclassify, you’d have to think that the Cats would remain in the conversation. They still have a scholarship to work with. I’m hoping to talk to McGary today, so hopefully we’ll have an update on the site later.
– The biggest story of the day was unquestionably the resignation of Jim Tressel from Ohio State. There are a million different angles to the story, including what might have been the most hyped article in the history of Sports Illustrated being released Monday evening, but for Kentucky fans, you have to wonder if the uncertainty in Columbus helps the Cats further push a little bit in the state of Ohio. The staff has made it a priority to gain traction in the Cincinnati area and they’ve made some early progress with some important guys in the area. If there was ever a time to maybe steal a player or two, this might be it. The Buckeyes could very well pick up a big name coach and get right back into the swing of things, but if I’m Tee Martin or Joker or Rick Minter, I’m getting after it hard with those kids right now.
– Fresh off his blasting of the media, Coach Cal will be in Destin, Florida Tuesday to kick off the SEC Meetings. He has been allotted ten minutes to speak. I’m hoping he takes the mic and tries to sell someone a timeshare, but he’ll probably talk about basketball and the strenght of the conference or something. Should be fun.
– Quietly, the recruitment of Kevin Ware concluded with him pledging his services to Louisville. The four-star point guard who was once destined to be a future Vol came back around to the Cards after he seemed to be all over the place and fully entrenched in the Brandon Bender and Kenneth Caldwell debacle. We’ll discuss the more amusing portions of him re-upping with the Cards later in the morning, but for now, Cards fans can spend the evening deleting those Tweets they sent him a few weeks ago.
– Don’t forget, tonight is the start of the NBA Finals. I’m obviously extremely biased, but the matchups in this series are outstanding and I think there’s a good shot this one goes seven games. Let’s enjoy it together. And if you’re going to be in Miami, give me a shout. I’ll let you buy me dinner or something.
– Finally, please continue to pray for T.C. Drake who remains hospitalized after being struck by a drunk driver Sunday evening. If you missed the story Monday, Drake was riding his motorcycle without a helmet when a car pulled out in front of him and he collided with the passenger side door. Drake was flown from Bardstown to Louisville and suffered two fractures in his skull and lost all his teeth. The driver was charged with first degree assault and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
That’s it for now. Make sure you stick around all day as we get back into the swing of things. Matt will be by with what should be must-listen Kentucky Sports Radio as he gives his take on “The Triumverate”, Kevin Ware and Derrick Jasper heading to Lubbock. The awesomeness will only continue from there.
See you in a few…