In NYC and looking for a place to party? Head on over to JACK DEMSEY’S tonight for UK’s official NYC pep rally. The bar’s owner, Vinnie (second from the left) will be there, along with the UK alumni association, Matt, and Drew, who will be tending the bar (tip him well). The party kicks starts at 7 p.m. ET, with a $5 cover to benefit the Red Cross Sandy Relief efforts.
— Who would have thought a week ago that the hot topic one day before the Maryland game would be Kentucky football? Bobby Petrino’s father started a firestorm last night with his comments about Petrino being being interested in the job. It’s clear from your reactions today that most of you all are on board with a Petrino hire. Petrino is one of, if not the most talented coach available right now, and whether or not his interest in Kentucky is sincere (many are arguing it’s a ploy to get a better offer from Auburn), Mitch Barnhart clearly has some things to think over today.
— The only real update we have on the Bobby Petrino situation is from Adam Himmelsbach, the Courier-Journal reporter who spoke to Petrino’s father last night. During their conversation, Himmelsbach said that Petrino Sr. mentioned that his son has already spoken to one school, and that it wasn’t Kentucky, but before he revealed the name, his wife stopped him, saying that they might get in trouble if they told. Could it be Auburn?
— Here are a few views on the situation from the national media:
Forbes’ Chris Smith, who covers the “business of sports,” thinks the hire is a “no brainer,” citing Kentucky’s need for a proven coach with a winning record, “buzz,” and ability to increase profits. Smith says that because of Petrino’s marred reputation, the Cats could land him. As for the baggage? He points to Cal: “Kentucky is no stranger to reaping the financial benefits generated by a coach with a poor reputation. John Calipari is one of the most loathed basketball coaches around, but the school pays him nearly $5 million to run college basketball’s fifth-most valuable team.”
The burning question today is whether or not Mitch would even consider the hire. ESPN’s SEC blogger Edward Aschoff says that he doesn’t think Mitch Barnhart will offer Petrino due to his baggage, and that Barnhart would rather find a young, up and coming offensive-minded coach who would stick around. Aschoff also said that most athletic directors are hesitant to hire Petrino, whom he calls a “PR nightmare,” but that if any school would take a chance on him, it would be Auburn. Who would Kentucky consider? Aschoff mentioned Sonny Dykes, Brent Pease, Dirk Koetter, David Cutcliffe and Willie Taggart as potential candidates.
— Hey, there’s a basketball game tomorrow! And, according to Cal, Ryan Harrow and Julius Mays may not even play in it. Both sat out yesterday, Harrow due to flu-like symptoms and Mays to rest his sprained leg. If they can’t go, Cal says Archie Goodwin and Jarrod Polson will handle point-guard duties.
— The Cats have arrived in Brooklyn and are settling in just fine, getting some practice in at the Barclays Center practice court:
— Vegas has spoken: the Cats are currently favored by 12.5 points.
— The folks over at CBSSports ranked the Cats second in their Preseason Top 25 (+ 1). Garry Parrish said that although the Cats have the most “pure talent” in the country, they will probably stumble early due to their youth and inexperience. The bottom line? By March, these Cats will be good:
Who will be the best player? I guess it could be Nerlens Noel. Or Archie Goodwin. Or Alex Poythress. We’ll see. But at least one of them — and possibly all three — will emerge as a serious All-American candidate and position Kentucky to make a third consecutive Final Four and win a second consecutive national title.
— A little bit of Andrew Wiggins news: Wiggins’ high school coach, Rob Fulford, says Wiggins will likely wait until the Spring to sign. Also, those rumors about his visiting Florida State this weekend are false. Fulford confirmed that Wiggins was initially concerned about how he would fit in at Kentucky after the Harrison Twins’ committed, but has since moved past that:
“Kind of an initial reaction was how would his role fit in with the Harrison twins and James Young but he doesn’t care. A roster alignment isn’t going to factor where Andrew goes.”
— USA Today’s Jason Jordan has quickly become one of the go-to names for recruiting news. In today’s piece, he interviewed various recruits about how often they get calls and texts from coaches, and how some (i.e. the Harrison Twins) have taken measures to stop it. Jahill Okafor, ranked #2 in the 2014 class, says Cal gets it when it comes to having a “hands-off approach”:
“Coach Cal said he didn’t see the point of all that calling and texting. I loved that approach because he made a really good point when he said, ‘I’m 53 years old, what would we have to talk about?’ Some schools just get out of hand with crazy texts.”
“It’s common sense; you know when you’re calling and texting too much,” he said. “Coaches just have to remember, we already know you want us. Don’t be so thirsty.”
Hear that, Tom Crean?
Three words about today’s show: Matthew ‘Effin Mitchell. Mitchell hosted the first hour with Ryan and absolutely killed it. #MitchelltoKSR? And yes, they also talked about Bobby Petrino.