It is hot and sunny in New York City and I am very sweaty. The only response clearly is to take a few notes:
— I have been pleasantly surprised at the generally positive reaction to Saturday’s game from UK fans. Now that doesn’t mean that fans are not disappointed…in fact, from the ones I have spoken with, most are EXTREMELY disappointed. But we haven’t seen any of the “jump ship” mentality that I thought could come after the unfortunate loss. Most people realize this is a rebuilding process and the vast majority also now accept that we were much lower on the totem pole of talent than we realized before. Thankfully for Mark Stoops, he has built up a great deal of good will since the beginning of his tenure, in large part due to the stellar recruiting and the work on the PR front. For most of the year, he has emphasized just how far this team had to go, but recent positive comments and the general excitement behind starting a new year had people expecting more. I assume we will see improvement from the team…it is almost impossible to believe it wouldn’t happen. But what I hope I see even more is continued excitement from the fanbase. I worried that we were in for a quick jumping of ship, but if early indications are at all representative, I don’t think this will happen. The UK fan base still believes in what Stoops is saying…assuming of course we don’t lose to Miami (OH) on Saturday.
— The most obvious move (besides the QB decision) after the game on Saturday now seems to be a possibility as Mark Stoops suggested last night on his radio show that Bud Dupree could move back to Linebacker. The decision to take Dupree to Defensive End made sense at the time, but because of the depth at the position (including Freshman Jason Hatcher) and the dire need at Linebacker (where the play on Saturday was atrocious to say the least), the move now seems rational. Dupree was so good in space last year and led the team in tackles and was the lone bright spot on the defense. If the team moves him back to Linebacker (whether MLB or OLB), it will give many more options and allow for some stability at a position of weakness. If Dupree was disrupting things on the line, then staying the course would be prudent. But he was basically a non-factor on Saturday. A move to his more natural position could be in order.
— It is important to remember that we are headed for a big weekend for UK basketball upcoming. The Calipari Fantasy Camp will start on Saturday and as in the past, KSR will have exclusive coverage throughout. You will be there behind the scenes as we give you all the happenings from the event as former Cats come on campus, interact with the new Cats and UK “Reunion” weekend takes place. This all leads up to the Alumni Game on Monday night where, once again, the KSR staff will be there to give you all you need to know. Basketball kicks off for real this weekend and this will be the place to be.
— Tyler Ulis will ultimately choose between Kentucky and Michigan State. I still think the Cats are the favorite and Ulis will join Trey Lyles as future Cats. But as we learned with Emmanual Mudiay, you never know until you know. I like Ulis as the Point Guard recruit, in part because I think you get him for multiple years. That has never been an option for UK at the position, but we may now see it for the first time.
More later as I now have to go because the saucy Italian journalist is distracting me once again.