Normally when I write here, I write long paragraphs filled with insight. Not tonight, ten quick hitters before I head off on vacation for two weeks:
1. I love that the SEC Tournament will be in Nashville for 8 of the next 10 years. The SEC Tournament is at its best in Nashville, where UK fans can dominate and the streets are packed downtown. The one year in St Louis will be a good experiment and the one year in Tampa will be terrible. But give me 8 of 10 years in Nashville and I will take it every single time.
2. By the time I come back on June 15, I expect you will have another couple of UK football commitments. The staff has hit it out of the park on early commits but they have a couple of others in their sights for early June. As camp season begins and more kids get towards campus, I expect UK to hear of a couple of other huge gets in the very near future.
3. The Bahamas trip will be epic (as you know) but I was disappointed to hear that Willie Cauley-Stein will not be able to play during the summer. This isn’t a surprise after his post-season surgery, but it would have been nice to see the entire team together. Still, it is a chance for Marcus Lee, Dakari, Karl Towns and Trey Lyles to find their footing and showcase their skills before the brutal big man competition next fall.
4. I can’t get over this story from yesterday about the Ashland hospital “King’s Daughter” and its $41 million settlement with the federal government for Medicare and Medicaid fraud. You really need to read the article for details but it boils down to this…the hospital performed over 500 HEART SURGERIES that were deemed unnecessary, solely for financial profit. That means 500 plus people in the Ashland area were given open heart surgery when they did not need it. Scary, scary stuff.
5. My favorite story of the week came from the 2015 basketball recruiting world when Jaylen Brown (who is a stud and I think goes to UK) said that he has told some coaches to “chill a bit” with all of the phone calls. He admitted what we all have known, which is that it is strange for high school kids to have to talk to grown coaches multiple times a week. He said that the coaches are wearing him out and he may decide sooner because of it. He specifically said however Calipari isn’t like the others the few times he calls, which once again showcases that he just does things better than everyone else.
6. Buzzfeed continues its tradition of stories that mention each state (we love those) by doing a post on what your state says about you. What does being from Kentucky mean? I think they nailed it:
7. It isn’t as hyped as the basketball encounter but the UK Baseball weekend in Louisville is huge for the program. The Cats have a chance to beat Louisville twice (as they have already done twice) and in the process, book a trip to the Super Regionals. They open with Kansas on Friday and then would get the Cards on Saturday in the Double Elimination tournament. I wish I were in town to watch it (not least of all because to get to the press box at UL, you have to walk through the Athletic Director’s suite), but hopefully they still pull it off. And congrats to AJ Reed…National Player of the Year is an amazing accomplishment.
8. This is why I love the internet. I thought 50 Cent’s first pitch was the worst first pitch of all time. So what does Deadspin do? They chart the first pitches of the 30 most famous in recent history. The article is worth a look and the chart below showcases…it was the worst:
9. The SEC is considering implementing a 30 second shot clock for exhibition games this year as a test to see if the shorter clock helps the game flow. Whether they do or don’t (they are deciding tonight), I am for the change in college basketball. There is no reason to take 35 seconds, and a shorter period would increase the importance of a pressing defense and more possessions will help the better team win…all improvements the game needs.
10. Finally, I am leaving on vacation and will be off this site and radio for two weeks while I travel across our great country. While I am gone, Drew and Tyler will handle this site wonderfully and the radio show will be navigated by a crew of KSR SPECIAL GUESTS HOSTS. They should be fun (and different) shows and I hope you will check them out. Lots of people with different perspectives and some that have never hosted a sports show before. Plus two sets of UK coaches, women’s Coach Matthew Mitchell and UK football Offensive/Defensive Coordinators Neal Brown and DJ Eliot will be taking a swing at hosting a show by themselves. It should be a lot of fun and I hope you will all tune in and give them some support. It is a great lineup:
KSR RADIO GUEST HOSTS
Monday JUNE 2: Replay of the UL Pregame/Wisconsin Post game Shows
Tuesday JUNE 3: Darrin Horn and Ryan Lemond
Wednesday JUNE 4: “Cougartown’s” Josh Hopkins
Thursday JUNE 5: Tony Vanetti and Drew Franklin
Friday JUNE 6: UK Women’s Coach Matthew Mitchell
Monday JUNE 9: CBS Sports’ Gregg Doyel
Tuesday June 10: The comedians The Sklar Brothers
Wednesday June 11: CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein
Thursday June 12: Former UK Quarterbacks Tim Couch/Jared Lorenzen
Friday June 13: UK Offensive Coordinator Neal Brown and Defensive Coordinator DJ Eliot
Finally before I go, the kids all do “Throwback Thursday” nowadays (with the #TBT) so I thought I would add one as well. Here is a picture from four years ago, when I dressed up as a UL fan for a tv segment with Tony Vanetti. Some of my proudest work: