Good morning! I guess by now you’ve realized that Matt is on the road again and you’re stuck with me for your morning roundup. Let’s just try to make the best of it. It’s a bit of a slow day for birthdays and with apologies to Rick Mahler, who got entirely TOO MUCH love on this site yesterday, why not take some time to celebrate the 46th birthday of the NBA’s greatest Jamaican basketball player? Patrick Ewing is known for his knee pads, loving strip clubs, marketing the cheapest tennis shoes this side of Marbury and being a part of the front-court heavy group of NBA players that had their talents stolen in Space Jam. And, if that’s not good enough, according to my high school basketball coach, he had the best years of his career under Pitino. But yet, he gives Pat Riley the bedroom eyes….
Anyway, there are some notable things going down on this fine day.
– If you missed the debut of SportsNight with Matt, Jody Demling and Trevor Kelsey tonight, then you might want to re-evaluate your life. It was heavy on the awesome from start to finish and a lot of good stuff was covered. The new lineup is a good mix of everything Kentucky from recruiting to UK to U of L to outro music by Wham! Well, 3 out of 4 isn’t bad. Pending the addition of “The Thomas Beisner Show”, 93.9 might be sporting the greatest sports broadcasting lineup of all-time. In all seriousness though, it was a great debut show with visits from Pat Forde, Brian Bennett, Brandon Parsons (J.B. Holmes’ caddie), Larry Vaught and U of L coach Greg Nord. Make sure to check it out Wednesday at 6 pm.
– There was a lot of good info on the show tonight from Jody Demling in regard to recruiting. First, he said that Christian Watford is no longer considering UK. On his newest list of finalists, according to Jody, Watford continues to include Louisville as a possible destination but the Cards are no longer recruiting him. The Watford situation might be something to keep an eye on as the 40th ranked player in the country told Jody on consecutive days last week that UK was on his list of finalists and then told another reporter otherwise this week. Was it just a slip of the tongue?
– Jody also said that he wouldn’t be surprised if Daniel Orton decided on a school earlier than most of the other elite players in the class, saying that he gets the impression that Orton is not the type of player that would drag the process out longer than he would have to. He didn’t cite anything specific, but he said that’s just the general impression that he’s gotten. That’s a good sign for the Cats, who are still considered the leaders.
– The football season officially kicked off yesterday for Kentucky as the players reported for the first time for fall practices that begin today. All was not good on Captain Brooks’ ship though, as they announced DB Paul Warford is ineligible and will redshirt and OL Christian Johnson faces some eligibility issues of his own and might be sitting out this year also. Both Warford and Johnson were expected to be major contributors and possibly even starters, so this obviously is a blow to the team. The good news is that both positions are fairly deep and UK should be able to survive the losses – as long as injuries don’t start creeping up.
– There was good news today for the Kentucky football program as the LaGrange, Ga. to Lexington connection continued to be as potent as Stockton to Malone. Jeff Drummond is reporting that the Cats landed their 14th commitment for the class of 2009 – and their second LaGrange commitment – in the form of DE Tristian Johnson. Johnson is a 6’3″, 222 pound lineman who runs a 4.7 40 and is rated by Rivals as a three-star prospect. Johnson’s commitment follows the verbal of his teammate two weeks ago, LB Qua Huzzie (who has committed to do an interview of debatable relevance), and might not be the end of Kentucky going to the LaGrange well. The Cats are also targeting Granger linebackers Kobina Essandoh and Demetri Merritt.
– In a strange bit of news, The Boston Herald reported Monday that Joanne Pitino saved the life of a man sitting next to her on a flight over the weekend. According to the Herald, the man had a heart attack and Pitino administered CPR and then helped put the oxygen mask on the man before the plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. So, well done Joanne. I tip my hat to you. But, you’ll really impress me if you can revive Derrick Caracter’s heart. Oooooooh. I bet no one saw that joke coming.
Well, that’s all for now, but expect much more greatness throughout the day. It’s an exciting time for Kentucky fans as the football Cats hold their first fall practice and UK football media day takes place this afternoon. I’m sure we’ll all finally get answers to all of the questions that have been eating us up all summer and provide us with plenty of Dicky Lyons lines worthy of printing on a t-shirt. Also, our football preview will start to kick into high gear with more profiles and the debut of the KSR Tailgating Manifesto. Until then…