From press row in Lexington watching Marquette-Davidson:
— Yesterday was awesome, was it not. Getting Julius Randle, especially considering the time it took place, made a relatively poor season end on a very high note. At this point, UK will have the highest rated recruiting class in the history of college basketball and the chance to have a team so stacked with talent that it becomes almost incomprehensible. Right now, UK has six players ranked in the top 15, along with in-state project Derrick Willis, and will probably add Dominique Hawkins and potentially Andrew Wiggins. The thought of the latter joining the mix is almost too much to comprehend. ESPN’s Chad Ford said that if he comes, it will be the greatest assemblage of talent in college basketball history…and I agree. Predicting things like 40-0 is silly…teams can lose. But the fact that it will be in the realm of possibility…and it will…is almost too much to believe. I honestly wish college basketball could start anew now so the unbelievable ass-kicking can begin.
— There have been a number of rumors involving a potential transfer from Kyle Wiltjer to Gonzaga. The source of these rumors continues to be unclear, as most people point back to Jerry Meyer of 247 Sports as the first to repeat them. However his initial comment was apparently a retweet and everything that has followed since has cited him. Here is what I know about the situation. At this point, assumptions that Wiltjer will leave Kentucky, much less for a particular school, are way premature. He is still set to meet with Calipari next week (as is the entire team) and no decision could be made until that time. Further, I have heard nothing from anyone around the program suggesting that the plan at this point is for Kyle to leave. Now things can always change, and if UK adds more players or a different situation presents itself, the idea of a transfer is not impossible. But as of right now, I think the reports of an imminent departure are premature at best.
— A UK fan decided to represent the Cats while hanging out with Johnny Football at Spring Break in Cabo. We are really everywhere:
— Watching the NCAA Tournament without Kentucky in it is truly a bizarre experience and one that I hope not to repeat for some time. But with that said, this is still my favorite event of the year and I love seeing it in person. Here in Lexington, we have already gotten through most of the afternoon session and a number of things have stood out:
1. Brad Stevens of Butler is an unbelievable coach. The team he has this year is not very talented and doesn’t have any players that can beat elite defenders off the dribble. But they run their sets so precise and their defensive execution is phenomenal. One day Calipari will end up retiring and when that happens, Brad Stevens will be my first and second choice to take over here.
2. Bucknell does many things well, but make signs and lead cheers are not two of them. I saw one Bucknell sign in the crowd and it said, “Bucknell Biology Loves Bison Basketball.” It was very close to alliteration glory, but instead just went for nerdy puzzlement. And in my many years of covering college basketball, I have never seen a less inspiring cheerleading group than the Bucknell squad. I am not saying you have to flips, or crazy acrobatic routines, but Bucknell essentially just stood in one spot and waved their hands. I know you can do better than that Bison…the Patriot League needs you to step your game up immediately.
3. Allie Leforce is the sideline reporter here in Lexington. I love her…that is all.
4. Ian Eagle is doing play by play at the games here and if you are a follower of KSR, you know that he may be our favorite person. Watching him work (we are seated right behind him and are hovering over his shoulder) is not only an exercise in professionalism, but also hilarious. His jokes and dry wit are great and every so often he just looks at us and makes a goofy face. Ian Eagle for President in 2016…he would be the best.
5. Pat Forde is here. Last year he confronted me about my past comments…will we get a repeat? Drew Franklin certainly hopes so.
More later…its Tournament Time and I am excited…regardless of whether we are actually a participant.