Sometimes weekends just go exactly like you wanted them to. For me, this was a good weekend for a variety of reasons, two of which were that I was able to see two of the more overinflated things of my lifetime, Tony Romo and the Louisville football PROGRAM brought down a notch. First Romo….I wish no ill will on the guy. His story is interesting….kid who comes from the bench takes over for Drew Bledsoe (who I like) and has a good few games to start his career. But then the hype starts as announcers say that he is one of the 5 best Quarterbacks in football….he makes the Pro Bowl playing ten games……and then we hear how he is the “future of the NFL.” As “My Name is Earl” has taught us, karma has a way of catching up to you, and that snap, fumbled due to the shaking hands of Romo has a way of evening things out. He may have a good future, but it is shaping up to be more Bill Buckner than John Elway as of today.
Now onto our good friends here in the River City. You knew this was coming didnt you? If you are like me, you have been telling Louisville fans to watch out…..Petrino (like Pitino) was going to leave…..it was just a matter of time. And today he did…..accepting a job to become the new coach of the Atlanta Falcons. The move makes complete sense. The Falcons are a NFL team with a good owner and the chance for Petrino to make Michael Vick (finally) a star. Louisville is a good program with good (but not great) resources in the Big East. Slam dunk. What this does show however is that my man Gregg Doyel was more correct than people realized. The great run of the last two years for Louisville….and it has been great….is the end, not the beginning. The Cards have had all world talent in Bush, Brohm and a coaching star in Petrino. Simply put, Louisville the program is not as strong as that star power. It couldnt be sustained. Now we hear that the leading candidate is the Tulsa coach…..good luck Cards……its all downhill from here. And for those fans who tell UK fans that being upset at Pitino was somehow not “classy”, lets see how many of you pull for the Falcons this year.
Now onto the news…..
(1) It was a big recruiting weekend with folks of all shapes and sizes with Kentucky connections making news. Lets start with AJ Stewart, the Kentucky commitment who played in Lexington on Saturday night. AJ produced a relatively solid performance, coming in with 16 points and 14 boards in the win over Lexington Catholic. AJ played a solid game, highlighted by a number of dunks and put backs. Continuing the form we have seen this year, AJ was not given the ball a great deal on the low post and thus his post moves were not highlighted. But he showcased his athleticism and floor IQ that illustrates his ability to play in the SEC. After the game, in response to a question, AJ mentioned that many people, coaches and otherwise, have been telling him that Tubby would be “run off by UK fans.” He said the AD assured him that wouldnt happen and that he “would trust in that.” AJ is going to be good at UK and his performance on Saturday was a good beginning to his Lexington time.
(2) The week is progressing towards the visit this weekend by Marshall Moses. All indications are that the visit is still on and the last conversation I had with Marshall suggested that it is the only visit at this point that is scheduled. For UK, this is a visit that can go a variety of ways. I am being told more and more often that UK is still holding their cards on Marshall, trying to make sure the grade situation is set before they make a final play for him. But the decision has to be made this week, as Marshall’s visit may end up being the biggest recruiting moment of the spring. We will have more on the visit as the week progresses and will have Marshall on our Louisville ESPN show on Wednesday. There was also a report this weekend from Rivals.com that there may be a “surprise” entry into the Moses recruitment in the next two months. I am not sure they school they mean, but I am still concerned about UNC. I think the Heels will go after Moses if they have a scholarship at the end of the season, and Moses is qualified. Because of that I think UK HAS TO GET Moses committed before then. That is why this weekend is so important.
(3) Many of you this weekend got to see Patrick Patterson play on television as his school went up against Dematha. I spoke this week with the Patterson family who tell me that everything is business as usual. They are still considering the same schools and staying with their promise to let this play out over the next two months. It is still unclear what if anything will be UK related on their visit on the 13th. I had been told that Patterson would be at the Miss St game, but this may not happen for “team reasons.” However there may be a plan to come to another game when Huntington is not scheduled later in the season. Patrick has been watching UK this year and “likes the way the team looks,” which is good news. I still have no feel on this one, but we will have an interview with Patterson this weekend on the site, which I think will be very interesting.
(4) I sound like a broken record, but Stephon Pettigrew is coming to life all over the place. I had a recruiting friend from Alabama call me and ask me about Pettigrew saying some “southern schools are starting to make contact.” One scouting service has advance Pettigrew up their rankings and I have heard multiple reports that Cincinnati and Xavier have begun making inquiries. I think UK is in a tough position on Stephon. He is so explosive and scores virtually at will…..but he is painfully short for his position. Having said that, a player is a player……and Stephon is a player. I still say hold out for Moses, Patterson and Lucas……but begin contact again with Pettigrew….any of those three go elsewhere, Stephon should get an offer.
(5) Finally, there was a lot to like about UK’s victory over Ole Miss. Joe Crawford played like the player he can be, and most importantly to me, scored his points while playing within the offense, coming off screens, etc. Kentucky’s shooting was stupendous and Ramel showed the icewater that is in his veins by making two backbreaking threes toward the end of the game. Morris was his usual great self down low, and is slowly asking for me to remove the “best 5” big men in the country and just call him the best one. Morris is unstoppable down low and is becoming a beauty to watch. Rebounding is a concern however as the Cats were killed on the boards, the only thing that allowed Ole Miss to hang tight. Bobby Perry and Sheray Thomas continue to simply be insignificant on this team, and in Perry’s instance, things seem to be getting worse. However, the team still won a tough road game and at times, looked good doing it. With other top 25 teams lying eggs (see why I said Alabama is overrated?), the time for the Cats may be approaching, and it is good to see.
We have lots coming this week, including catch-up interviews with ALL of UK’s recruits for this year. The podcast will actually be Wednesday as part of the ESPN show…..we do a live show Saturday at BW3s in Lexington for the Mississippi State game…..
Finally, be watching for “Hubby’s Links of the Week” a feature beginning this week. He starts with this video about George Washington…..that well…..is all Hubby…..