Today is the birthday of a man we all know and love. Willie Nelson is one of the truly unique American characters of the last 50 years. Here is a guy who is something to everyone. Hardcore country people love his music, his lifestyle and his Texas roots. Crazy lefties love the fact that he is the most notable supporter of that oddball Dennis Kucinich. Religious folks love Willie’s affinity for God and his wonderful renditions of the best Christian hymns. Hippies like Willie’s affinity for the wacky tobaccy and his “me against the world.” Farmers in the Midwest love the guy for his work with Farm-Aid and his almost single-minded crusade for the poor Midwest/Southerner. Truly everyone loves Willie. My grandmother loves him….my country friends love him…..the Berkeley types I went to law school with love him…..and I think he is the best. Whether it is his almost haunting a capella renditions of “Always On My Mind” or his rockabilly take on “Whiskey River”, Willie is simply the best. Caring in his heart for all people and a unique soul that sees the good in everyone…..America needs more Willie Nelsons.
To the news….
(1) Well the weekend saw one of the quieter news times of the past few months and a sense of the “calm before the storm” for Billy Clyde as he tries to finish off the 07 class. Jai Lucas is the main event at this time as he goes through the process of having all five schools in for one last visit before he makes his decision. Billy Clyde moved back his visit from Saturday afternoon to Sunday (thus going after Gary Williams) and spent Sunday evening at the Casa de Lucas. But Billy Donovan continued his snake-like aggression, postponing his visit to Monday night so he could get the last word before the start of the dead period. Lucas has hinted that a decision may come this week and reports are all over the map as to what he might do. Some random internet reports continue with the now-tired “done deal” terminology, swearing that Lucas is committed to Kentucky and is set to announce next week. I find most of these reports to be bunk, not necessarily because of the result, but because of how they are presented. I have a very strong idea of what Jai will do, but I dont think EVEN Jai knows for sure 100%…..based on relationships made during the process, when the story breaks I expect it to come from either this site, Dave Telep or Jerry Meyer….only then will I believe it is done. Until then, the Big Blue Nation collectively waits….
(2) More news came out this weekend from an Indiana web site about big man Beas Hamga. As Marc Maggard first reported here last week, Beaz is a real possibility for 2007 and he acknowledged as much to the Indiana site, saying that he was looking at 2007 and that Kentucky was at the forefront for his services. Hamga is a beast, a tall, athletic player who has freakish ability and room to develop. People ask me what I think of a Hamga-Legion duo instead of a Patterson-Lucas combo. While I have some affinity for Pat and Jai and think they may end up being a better college duo, it can be argued that Hamga and Legion fit better with Kentucky’s needs. We shall see, but Hamga is a real possibility.
(3) Rumors continue to circulate that Michael Sanchez will be taking some type of visit to Kentucky this weekend. Sanchez, who was compared to Christian Laettner this weekend by one of his coaches, is another player that Billy Clyde is seeking to move to 07, and convince him not to go to prep school next year. I am hearing that whatever decision Sanchez makes, he wants to make in the next two weeks, so like with Lucas, whatever happens should happen quickly.
(4) In case you missed the news last week, Phillip Jurick, a Tennessee big man who was seriously considering the Cats when Tubby was here, committed to Tennessee for the 2008 class. Billy Clyde never really got involved in this one and thus UK ceased being a player. But now UT and UK are set to do head to head battle for Chris Singleton, the big man that Marc Maggard profiled yesterday. UT has long been thought to be the leader, but UK has made a swift move and some believe the two of them have moved ahead of Indiana into the driver’s seat. A good Bruce Pearl – Billy Clyde recruiting battle…..that is what the rivalry needs
(5) The next two weeks will tell the tale of next year’s season for the Cats. Kentucky currently has two open scholarships and four offers on the table that we know of…..Lucas, Patterson, Hamga and Sanchez…Billy Clyde hopes two of those are on the roster for sure, and maybe three…..with some scholarship mojo to make room. Lucas will likely decide first and then Billy Clyde will have to decide how he wants to play the roulette…..lose Lucas and you likely arent getting Patterson, so you take Hamga and try to get Sanchez. Get Lucas and Patterson is a real option, and thus how you finesse the next two weeks will be interesting……we will let you know as it happens.
This week should be huge. We begin streaming on Tuesday, thus setting off the beginning of what we hope will be the creation of the biggest UK sports radio show anywhere. The streaming is the first step in creating a network and allowing folks anywhere to hear the show. Woo and Randolph Morris will be there for the first show on 1570 AM. Later in the week we have very special guests set up, so this should be a big, big week.
Look for an AAU report from Marc Maggard tomorrow around lunch……..should be fun!