June is a weird month at the KSR Compound as the confetti and balloons stay up just about the entire month as we celebrate the birthdays of just about every person on the staff. Thursday is one of those official party days as our resident swim coach blogger, Will Lentz, celebrates his escape from the womb. You might not know a whole lot about Will, but no one else really does either, so don’t feel like you’ve been left out of the loop. I know that he writes on this site, had a beard at one time (and still might) and says “definitely” a lot on podcasts. I also know that he’s a swim coach and that he’s never been arrested for anything weird, so that makes him among the sport’s premier coaches. Other than that, he’s a mystery. So, today, let’s celebrate that mystery. Will Lentz, you’re the greatest guy I’ve ever known through text messages and email. Happy birthday.
A few notes…
– At some point in the next few days, Kentucky will announce that they’ve agreed to an extension with John Calipari, which will officially end a chapter of some chilliness between the coach and his boss, Mitch Barnhart. The word is that the extension will not increase monetarily, but will simply add some years to the life of the massive 8-year, $31.65 million deal he signed in 2009. Cal was adamant Wednesday in talking with Brett Dawson to point out that it was not an issue brought up by him, which is true, but it was an issue that became very important to him after Mitch Barnhart publicly announced that he wanted to work on something a year ago. It won’t make a lot of waves when it’s finally announced, but it’s significant progress and reflects well on Barnhart.
– In that chat with Dawson, Calipari also commented on the debate over his 500 wins for the first time, playing the old “it’s about the players” card and saying he doesn’t care what his record is. While that might have some truth in it, you better believe that Calipari does care quite a bit about the pissing match with the NCAA. UK will most certainly – or already has – respond to the NCAA about the goofiness of their request and I think it will be an extremely interesting case of reading between the lines if the letters make it public. Kentucky really has no choice to apologize or at least acknowledge the error in some way since the NCAA has a way of making things uncomfortable for you once you’re on their list. If they issued a flat-out apology though, I’d be shocked. I’d love to be in a room putting together carefully choosing the words that accurately reflect the feelings, but give the NCAA the bare minimum of what they want.
– Oh, Twitter. How you create a stir. Kentucky quarterback Morgan Newton sent out a Tweet late Wednesday that seemed to be rooted in a lot of frustration with the way his team is progressing at this point. Here is what Newton had to say:
At first glance, this might not get a great reception, but is it really all that bad of a thing? There’s no Randall Cobb anymore. No Mike Hartline to compete with. This is Morgan Newton’s team, for better or worse. I love that he’s challenging his teammates to push themselves to get better and be committed to each other. Is Twitter the best outlet for it? Maybe not. But if it makes guys angry in the locker room, good. I hope they get offended. So offended that they start working harder to prove him wrong. If it’s received any other way, then there’s a much bigger problem to worry about.
– CBS ran a show called “Inside College Basketball” Wednesday featuring the usual Jon Rothstein, Wally Szczerbiak and screaming Steve Lappas lineup, this time focused on the NBA Draft. They chatted with Coach Cal and broke down the Cats’ squad for next year (we’ll have the video in the morning) and also spent some time projecting the NBA Draft unlike anywhere else I’ve seen. That’s because Alaa Abdelnaby placed Enes at the top of the draft to the Cavs and had The Master of Skype, Kyrie Irving, going to the Cavs at #4. Will it happen? Probably not? But does that make Alaa Abdelnaby a friend of Big Blue Nation? Of course not. He went to Duke.
– There is some breaking bad news to report: Vancouver Canucks fans are rioting after their team lost to Boston in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The breaking good news? They’re only destroying Canada.
That’s it for now. Make sure you hang around all day for other stuff about Kentucky. There will be a lot. I promise. Matt will be by at his normal time of 10am with Kentucky Sports Radio on Talk Radio 1080. In the meantime, enjoy our early birthday gift to our friend Will Lentz. This one’s for you, my friend…
See you in a few…