Well, here we go again. Welcome back to another week of fun times and BTI posts in what is, sadly, the last week of the regular season. Before we get going on preparing for a week that should both celebratory and solemn, let’s first make mention of the event that makes those feelings its trademarks and its surprising familiar face. During Sunday’s nationally televised bombing by Anne Hathaway and an apparently stoned James Franco, former Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor was awarded for his work on the score of The Social Network. I don’t know if the music was good since I never saw the movie, but I do think it’s amusing that the guy who once sang the vulgar lyrics of “Closer” was honored at that snoozefest for his work on a Justin Timberlake film. And, if the winners for Best Original Score ever get together like the winners of The Masters, count me in on a party with Reznor and Three Six Mafia.
Now onto a few UK notes…
– This is what you came here for. I don’t blame you. It’s good stuff. Here is Part I of Matt’s All-Access story of his behind-the scenes journey with the Cats this weekend. Matt takes you inside the pre-Florida practice as Calipari has coaches focus on Doron Lamb, helps his team find a way to stop Chandler Parsons and shares some words that would inspired Darius Miller to break out. There’s even an Enes Kanter sighting. Excellent read. And I’d even say that if he weren’t signing my checks.
– With one win now officially logged, the Cats can focus on continuing to build momentum for the postseason in the season’s final two games. The key building some confidence for the postseason seems to weigh a little heavier with the season’s final trip to Knoxville and an opportunity to pick up a W away from Rupp, but thanks to a victory over the #13 Gators Saturday, the Cats could be riding extra high with a three-game winning streak. The Cats, of course, get Vanderbilt Tuesday on Jorts Day (don’t forget to wear your denim) and they’ll certainly be favored. A win against the Commodores and means that the game in Knoxville could – I know this is crazy – make them favored in the SEC Tournament. It seemed crazy a few days ago and, to be honest, sounds a little nutty right now, but if the Cats close with three wins over the SEC East’s three best teams and get one of them on the road, I’m not betting against them in Atlanta. Confidence with this young team has come and gone with victories and there’s no reason why a big finish to the regular season can’t revive some of that magic from the non-conference slate.
– One more time: Reappearius Miller! Welcome back. Good to have you. Glad that you’ve decided to stick around.
– Tuesday will be Senior Day for Josh Harrellson, but there is also a possibility that it will be the last home game for a couple of UK freshmen. Oscar Combs said Sunday that Terrence Jones’ family will be in attendance, which probably serves as a spoiler for the not-so-surprising idea that he will be going pro. Brandon Knight probably still falls in the 50-50 category. Doron Lamb could do anything, but I don’t see any way he’s a first round pick right now. Unless something drastically changes between now and the end of the season, you would assume he will be back for his sophomore season.
– Keeping witht he optimism theme, the new polls will come out Monday and I expect the Cats to remain in the top-25 despite their loss to Arkansas. Part of the reason is there isn’t a lot of competition for those spots as college basketball as a whole seems to be a little balanced and I think the impressive win over the Gators is going to look good with voters. I could be wrong, but Jeff Goodman agrees and you know he never is.
– More recruiting news came via the world of Twitter as Stan Simpson said UK will visit him Wednesday to watch him practice. Yes, we’re talking about practice. It’s clear that UK wants to add another big man to their 2011 class and Simpson is in a group with Braeden Anderson and God’s Gift Achiuwa in contention for that spot. Simpson could become the favorite based on what happens Wednesday. No matter what, he wants you to follow him on Twitter. Do not disappoint him.
– Not to be left behind in the recruiting excitement of the basketball team, Joker’s squad picked up two commitments after their Junior Day. Both players, Thomas Chapman and Josh Harris, are regarded as being among the best Kentucky kids in the 2012 class and are important from that standpoint alone. Building some momentum coming out of Junior Day, which yielded no commitments last year, is also a sign of some solid work being done by UK’s staff. They showed last year in Joker’s first year in charge that they will push to fill their spots all year long. It’s a strategy that seemed to pay off and appears to have gotten off on a good foot.
– It was a big day at the NFL Draft Combine for Randall Cobb, who showcased an improved 40 time and excellent hands and route-running. Sports Illustrated listed Cobb as one of the receivers who are rising after their showing at the combine and it’s particularly encouraging for Cobb because he was seen as a guy who played better than his measurables. He has displayed the production on the field that make scouts believe he can be a serious NFL player. Sunday at the Combine, he showcased the little things that make them drool. A huge day of success for the prettiest eyes in the history of the program. Derrick Locke did pretty well too.
– If you’re gettin extra excited already for UK Senior Day, UKAthletics will host a Josh Harrellson Live Blog Monday at noon. That means you’ll have plenty of time to listen to Matt and Zach and then check it out. And then hit refresh on KSR about one or two hundred times. I’ve got mouths to feed.
– Along that same line, we have a huge week planned here at KSR. The events will be as follows:
Jorts Day – All day on Tuesday, we’ll bring a special edition of our annual UK Senior Day fun, centered around jean shorts and Josh Harrellson. Everyone on the KSR staff and a few names from the past will drop by with their own Jorts antecdotes. And there is a special surprise planned.
Evan Daniels Live Blog – Scout.com’s recruiting king will stop by Wednesday for a Live Blog to take your questions about recruiting and, well, mostlly recruiting. You can ask other stuff if you want, I guess.
Tennessee Hate Day – Friday will serve as our annual Tennessee Hate Day. You know what this means. Hate. Lots of it.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day for all kinds of pre-Jorts Day fun and a few final notes on the greatness that was a victory over the Gators Saturday at Rupp. As usual, the fun gets going with Matt and Zach on TalkRadio 1080 at 10am. Make sure you check it out. In the meantime, feel sorry for Ashton Gibbs cheerleader-induced embarrassment and celebrate in his new nickname for the Filthy Cards. They low-down. They dirty. They some bums.
See you in a few…