Well I tried my absolute hardest to be a good, equal opportunity basketball fan. I gave the women’s title game tonight all the energy and focus that I could give it. Rutgers-Tennessee got the ESPN Everywhere treatment and I decided I would try to watch as much as possible……but I admit, it put me to sleep. I wanted to care about the Lady Vols (with first women to ever consider going pro Candace Parker and her boyfriend Sheldon Wiliams) and the Lady Scarlet Knights (coached by a woman who looks like a chain smoker), but it just wasnt happening. Pat Summit and her team won the game, giving Pat her 7th Title, an amazing accomplishment that proves that she is one of the all time great coaches of any sport. I have often wondered what would happen if Summit were to coach a men’s team, and what level of success she would have. I think she would struggle a bit in recruiting, but if she were able to get players, I see no reason why she wouldnt rise to the top. But alas, it likely will never happen and she will have to settle for making Geno Auriemma’s life a living you know what. Congrats Lady Vols….you are a Tennessee team that I can root for!
To the news (actually more views on this day)….
(1) I really wonder if this week will ever end. I cannot tell you how much I wish that Kentucky would find a coach, hire him and allow us all to move on with our lives. It is time for this blog to begin summer recruiting, I want to write about ridiculous things and I cannot talk any more about Billy Donovan on the radio…..I simply cant. But there is no doubt that this is a story that is fascinating Kentuckians by the truckloads. Today was our most visited day ever on the site (over 73,000 visitors) and there can be no doubt that all eyes are on the Florida prize. I think you will hear a decision from Donovan very soon, especially if the answer is no. Billy understand how important moving on may be for the program and if he isnt coming, we will know soon. If he is coming, then the announcement could be at any time. As is, I have no inside information on this, but I just feel like things will be clearer at this point tomorrow. We shall see. My gut still says Donovan stays at Florida for now and ends up in the NBA in May……but people I trust tell me otherwise. Ultimately I think no one knows, maybe not even Donovan….so we all have to wait.
(2) Florida AD Jeremy Foley made a brilliant move in having the celebration on Friday for the championship. At this point, Donovan is scheduled to leave on Saturday for the Dominican Republic……hard to imagine he announces for UK and then goes to the celebration….and there isnt much time afterwards. I am not sure if it was intentional…..heck it probably was. But either way, the chap is clever
(3) I continue to hear that all signs continue to point to our report of last week that Rick Barnes and Billy Gillispie are the most likely Plan Bs as still being true. Jeff Drummond of TCP is saying that Rick Barnes and UK have talked…..I believe this happened late last week, but now most agree that the conversation has taken place. I continue to hear that Barnes is one of four coaches who have been spoken with (or their representatives) outside of Donovan, including Gillispie. Barnes has drawn varying degrees of support from UK fans with some (like me) questioning his coaching ability, while others raving about his recruiting and style of play. We shall see. I prefer Billy D and Billy G, but Barnes is not as bad as some could be. I continue to hear of an “off the radar” candidate that was spoken with, but if that person exists, no one knows who they are.
(4) It bears remembering that in the last 24 hours, both Billy Donovan’s dad and wife have said they dont know what is going to happen. One can say this is good news depending on how blue tinted their glasses are, but it cant be seen as bad news. This is especially true since the father earlier in the week said essentially “no way” and the wife has been rumored to want to stay in Gainesville.
(5) The Billy D in Lexington sighting stories are amazingly bizarre. I have heard many, but my two favorites are the one from the guy on our show who said he had a friend whose sister is selling her house and Billy D just showed up, knocked on the door and asked them how much they wanted for it and the fans tonight who have been following this mysterious communter plane flying from Gainesville to Lexington and are considering going to the airport to see who is on it. I would love if it is just some family who has been on vacation and they get off the plane only to see a bunch of UK fans staring at them hoping to see Donovan. UK fans are great, but they also can be funny and tonight has been epic in that regard.
(6) Sanjaya still rules.
(7) People keep asking me about recruiting talk…..there is none right now. UK doesnt have a coach…..none. No coach. Without a coach, you dont have recruits. We will get back to those conversations as soon as they become relevant, but right now they are not. Reports are that Patrick Patterson told a Memphis radio station that he “seriously doubted” that Donovan would be at UK…..no idea if this is true, but if so I dont think it means much. If wife and father dont know, no offense to Patrick, but he wouldnt know either.
We will report news or rumors as we hear them….stay tuned…..and if the site runs slow (which it did for a bit this morning), just stay patient as our server tries to handle the traffic. Thanks and remember……no matter who the new coach is, Rob Bromley will surely still be in the huddle!