Well I am coming down from the high that is watching “Friday Night Lights on NBC once again this week. As I have said before, this is the best non-“Office” show on network television and you need to be watching it….now. We also found out today that our first show on ESPN 1570 AM in Louisville will be on Friday night from 6-8 pm. Our regular time slot is going to be on Wednesdays from 6-8 pm and doing some pre-game shows for Saturday Kentucky basketball games, but for our first week “Hammerin” Hank Goldberg has pushed us back to Friday. We hope you folks will call in and help us celebrate our first show on the air….and help us hope it is not our last.
Now some quick tidbits of news……Many of you are asking me about Marshall Moses. He is scheduled to find out this week about the remaining academic issues that he has and is then scheduled to take his visit to Kentucky this weekend. If he makes the visit to Kentucky, then I think we could see a Moses commitment on the trip. But there is still the lingering James Anderson issue. Tubby Smith is trying to get James in town and supposedly the decision as to whether to visit will be made tomorrow. I will see what I can find out……I interviewed Jai Lucas about his visit to Maryland this evening. Very little to report. Here was his exact quote about the trip: “I had a good time at Maryland. It was cool to be on the East Coast and see how things work a little different up there. I went to a scrimmage they had there. There werent all that many people, but I think it was because everyone was getting ready for the football game. Everybody there was real cool and I liked my time there.” In addition, Lucas is going to take his trip to Oklahoma and said that he hopes to make his decision sometime next week…..
Oh yeah, listen to EPISODE 12. It has Barry Booker, SEC Preview, Recruiting and Hubby….check it out.
OK that is that, now onto the feature part of this presentation……
THE KEY INGREDIENT
Over the next two weeks, the makeup of the Kentucky class will come together. AT this point we know that Mike Williams and AJ Stewart will be Cats. If Kentucky and Moses stay on the same path, Marshall Moses can be a Cat very soon. In addition, it is highly likely that Ramon Harris will be in Lexington in 2007 if not sooner. So that leaves two spots (maybe three, if Moses is a no and Tubby can hit a longshot pick with James Anderson). Unless you live on the moon (or dont read the internet), you know that those two spots are hopefully going to be filled by Jai Lucas and Patrick Patterson. Will it happen? No one can say for sure, but if anyone knows the answer to that question and can effect its results, it is the man above….John Lucas.
Watching John Lucas from afar, I was never exactly sure what to make of the guy. His compelling life story suggests a guy who could overcome adversity and be a positive influence on those going through troubles themselves. In addition, it is clear that he has raised two great kids with his sons John and Jai. However beginning with the time this summer in Indianapolis at the Nike Camp, I saw a different side of John Lucas…..the political machine. In Indy, John was hyper-motion, talking to everyone under the sun and asking any person who he could meet (including me) the latest coaching scoop and recruiting gossip. One recruiting analyst said to me that Lucas seemed to be running for office and get every vote in the building.
What John was actually doing was promoting his son to anyone that would listen. Watching Lucas, you would think that his son was the 300th ranked player and not in the top 50 as John was seen talking to coaches and analysts pointing out the virtues of his point guard prodigy. However while John was everywhere, one place where he spent the most time was sitting directly next to the Patrick Patterson family. While the Lucas-Patterson connection may have been slightly overhyped, it nevertheless is real. John Lucas saw what everyone saw at the NBA Players Camp…..Jai makes Patrick better and vice versa. Jai is a great player but he needs great players around him and Patrick fits the bill. And Coach John saw that, and the idea of promoting these two young men playing together was most certainly on his mind. At the time John said to me, “Jai and Patrick could be a great team together. Believe me, we all know that.”
As we head to the final days of this recruiting season, this connection is still real. John Lucas sat next to Patrick Patterson’s dad at Midnight Madness and the Coach stood up and chanted Patrick’s name with the masses. In a conversation with Patrick’s mother after the visit, she said that they occasionally speak with the Lucas family and that they have become friends since the summer. There is no doubt in my mind that John would like to see his son and Patrick play together…..why? Because it is the best for his son. In the next two weeks, Tubby Smith and the UK staff are hoping that they will be able to sell these two young men on the virtues of being part of the Big Blue Nation. However the individual who may have been the biggest advocate of this package and who may ultimately have the biggest effect on whether it happens may be Mr. Lucas himself. If John still sees the Lucas-Patterson connection as a positive one and still believes that it can become reality, I believe he will attempt to work and make that happen. Whether it will is anyone’s guess…..but if it does, the man with a moustache should become an honorary Wildcat, because he will have been a crucial factor in creating a recruiting class that will make the future of UK very bright.
And before you leave the site, check out this video of two kids in Denver trying to get an autograph from “Mark Pope.” Its a little slow at first, but I liked it a lot. If Kentucky Sports Radio ever expands to Denver, these two kids are on the top of our list…..