This has been a tremendously busy few days around UK land, so some quick thoughts are necessary:
1. UK Football: We are all depressed about UK football right now. On this we are unified. The Western Kentucky game was a complete disaster and has come close to sealing Joker Phillips’ fate. But there is still the one little matter of 9 more games yet to come for this team that we must all face. It will be interesting to see how the team responds to the loss at Florida, but it will hard to gain much knowledge as the likelihood of a blowout is strong. What is much more important is that when Kentucky comes home to South Carolina in two weeks, Spurrier doesn’t make it ugly. The old Ball Coach would like nothing more than to lay it on the Cats (although he does like Joker) and an ugly game could make the attendance for the next game down to friends and family. In a perfect world, speculation as to future coaching prospects would not be occurring. But no matter what, it is happening and will continue to happen. For me, two things are imperative…shoot for the moon and try to land in the stars and (2) dont hire Tommy Tuberville. Thank you.
2. The UK NBA Alumni Game: The Alumni Game was obviously excellent for the fans, but equally as important, may be looked back upon as a huge step in elevating the UK “family” atmosphere around the program. By centering the weekend around the Calipari Fantasy Camp and the UK Alumni Game, this past weekend became the unofficial “reunion” for the UK basketball team. The players interacted with each other from all generations and it became one of the better times the program has seen in some time. Former player after former player said to me that it was hugely important to them to reconnect with the school and that they hoped this would be an annual affair. I am not sure that the game itself will continue to happen on a yearly basis, but a fan experience or the like, to go in conjunction with the camp probably will. UK basketball creating a family that goes through generations of players is just another step in Calipari taking the program to a higher level that cannot be matched anywhere else.
3. Midnight Madness Campout: Yes, I still call it Midnight Madness, and it will be that way to me for all time. But whatever you call it, the tents are already out and people are ready for the great UK communal fan experience. Drew and I will be making our way to Campout on Thursday night (when there is also the Stone Cold Willow versus Nerlens Noel basketball game) and we look forward to seeing all the campers once again. If you get a chance, stop by even if you aren’t camping out…especially at night, it becomes a very cool scene. And if you are around, look for our folks giving out the shirts below, as KSR partners with Fan Outfitters to outfit the Campout 2012:
4. Future of NCAA Amateurism at Stake: The most important lawsuit in America regarding college athletics is still kicking in California, where Ed O Bannon sued the NCAA for using his (and other college athletes’) likeness in video games/commercials. The discovery that is coming out of the lawsuit is fascinating and if you get a chance, it is worth reading more about it in this ESPN article today. The seismic sea change in college athletics could come from this case, so it is definitely worth following intently.
5. New Podcast For You: If you haven’t yet started listening to or following my new podcast with the Walk-Ons, please do.. We are talking national college basketball as I join two Duke guys (that I promise are entertaining) to talk about whatever is going on in college basketball. This episode includes Calhoun, UNC scandal, Gillispie, Calipari Fantasy Camp and more. Make sure and check it out here.
Night post coming…for now, just be happy…JAMAAL MAGLOIRE RE-SIGNED WITH THE TORONTO RAPTORS!