It was a fun weekend to be in Lexington folks. We began early on Saturday morning with the White Castle Challenge contest (pictures on the post below….go to it if you havent), which saw the introduction of new “favorite person of the show”, Dave the Valvoline Guy. The performances were grand and made me quite happy. Then the Cats beat Georgia in a game that saw Lexington at its happiest and the University of Kentucky players finally receive the important win that they so desperately have deserved. And then we finished the day with the Kentucky Sports Radio crew having two hours of sitting on Nicholasville Road with our Kentucky Sports Radio sign and lots of yelling and screaming. We met lots of fans and got lots of car honks and if you were one of the ones who saw us, let us know in the comments.
So it was all very exciting. But now its time to refocus on basketball. We have South Carolina Upstate on the menu tomorrow night in the last exhibition game of the year. We will have a full recap here after the game and we hope all of you will check in after watching the festivities. And this is also recruiting week as signing period begins on Wednesday. What will happen? It remains to be seen.
Also, no podcast taping today due to some flu bugs. Thus we will record our Wednesday show in Louisville (which should have some big stuff on it) and put it on here on Thursday. Well lets get some news….
(1) The most important decision that will be made this week for Kentucky will be the one made by Jai Lucas. I spoke with Jai tonight who said he enjoyed the Oklahoma visit and was ready to make his final decision soon. He and his family are waiting for his brother John (who plays for the Houston Rockets) to get back in town and will meet on Tuesday to “finalize what we are going to do.” He expects to announce the decision late in the week, likely after Wednesday. He will be our guest on our ESPN Radio show on Wednesday night (which will then be part of our podcast series on Thursday) and he doesnt expect to have a decision before that point.
Now of course, once again everyone is freaking out because there is an article where Jai said his Oklahoma visit “changed some things.” Lets go over the timeline. First everyone freaked because an Oklahoma St “host” said that OSU was 100% certain to get Lucas and his visit made the final deal. Then he was certainly off to Maryland because he was supposedly “blown away” by the visit and his dad loved Gary Williams. Now he is certain to Oklahoma because it “changed some things.” Well obviously some of these have to be wrong dont they?
Look, Jai could end up anywhere. But I have reason to believe, as I have the entire time, that UK is STILL the leader for Jai and that if the decision were made today, that is where he would be. The family is meeting on Tuesday and there is of course the possibility that this could conceivably change something. But as of today, I have reason to think that UK is still the most likely destination. I am NOT saying that he is certain to go to UK….I have never said that and I dont believe it. But I do think UK is the likely leader until I hear otherwise.
(2) As stated on Kentucky Sports Report and on here earlier today, Ramon Harris is heading to Kentucky and will sign a Letter of Intent this week. I have since learned that the Alaskan player WILL be eligible second semester and will join the team at the end of December. Many have asked me what type of player Harris is. He is a versatile wing (likely a three) that can shoot the ball well and is an explosive athlete. He has a 36 inch vertical leap and is considered to be one of the best basketball athletes to come out of the frozen tundra in Alaska in quite some time.
Will Harris come in and make an immediate impact this season? I kind of doubt it. I have been told that Harris was one of the best players playing in pickup games on his visit. What I have seen of Harris has left me VERY impressed. But he will be joining a team mid-season and Tubby will be hesitant to disrupt chemistry. However the hope is that he can provide some backup minutes to Bobby Perry and give a role on the team as the year progresses. Redshirting Harris is not a good option. The kid wants to play and the team can use him…..Tubby specifically wanted him for THIS year as a backup at the three is necessary. I like the idea of working Harris in and making this kid who is DYING to go to UK, part of the new young guns.
(3)James Anderson is announcing his decision at a press conference on Wednesday. I dont know where he will go, but I dont think that his decision will play a role in Jai Lucas’ decision. I used to think if Anderson went to OSU, it would have an impact on Jai. I know think that even if both end up at OSU, the decisions were completely separate from each other.
(4) On a note about the actual basketball team. I was told by someone who sees the team on a day to day basis that this team is as “cohesive as any since the undefeated SEC team.” The individual said that team was motivated by a belief that everyone had written the team off and grew together as a group and loved to play with each other. This individual told me that the returning guys, especially the junior class, has a collective chip on their shoulder that UK is being overlooked nationwide. They are ready to prove something and have been “all business” everywhere. These guys are spending more time together off the court and are not just in clicks that never interchange. Chemistry is important, as last year should have taught us, and the signs are that this just keeps improving.
(5) Finally, Tubby Smith was at the UK kickoff basketball luncheon and had two interesting comments. First he said that Uk was the “team to beat” in the SEC this year. You gotta love that confidence. National title or not for Florida, you want your team to have confidence and that very un-Tubby like thing to say shows that the confidence is there. Second, recruiting season is still on the minds of those at UK. When talking about Patrick Sparks, Tubby almost slipped and said Patrick Patterson and looked down and said that he was glad he didnt slip and make that mistake. I think we all are ready for these sagas to end.
More coming tomorrow on the South Carolina Upstate game and the introduction of the first of the Kentucky Sports Radio girls. That should make you come back….