Friday, April 30, 2010

Terrence Jones: Washington Husky

TJ and CJ leave the Cats with Harrelson and Kanter on the inside.

Terrence Jones chooses to become a Washington Husky vs a Jayhawk, Wildcat, Duck, or any other animal or object.

The Huskies will receive Terrence Jones and Terrence Ross as a package. This leaves the Wildcats hurting on the interior for the 2010 season, but the last hope still remains with Calipari's ability to pull another warm body in Marcus Thorton.

Currently, the Wildcats have Enes Kanter and Josh Harrelson in the paint and above 6'9". Leaving the Cats thin  - to say the least.

Terrence Jones: Hotness is Mild but rising

So Big Blue Nation is at it again. With big recruit, Terrence Jones set to announce today, BBN is on pins, needles, and keyboards. Google is now showing that Terrence Jones is the 55th 28th hottest search item on the web.

7% of seaches are occuringin Lexington home of the Kentucky Wildcats
6% of searches are occuring in Seattle home of the Washington Huskies

I imagine his search will rise even higher as his decision draws closer.

--- Update --- At 7:15 Terrence Jones was the 6th most popular Google Search
--- Update --- At 7:35 Terrence Jones is the 2nd most populat Google Search

Watch Terrence Jones Decision Live: 6:30 EST

At 6:30pm EST today, I'll probably be inside the car on the way back home from the Kentucky Oaks after watching the ponies. Ok, so I don't usually see any horses but it would be after watching the college kids drink excessively, chest hair art, duct tape suits, girls displaying their big... hats and more from the infield. Terrence Jones will be announcing his decision on where to go to college. So I wanted you to have a place you can go check out Jones' press conference.

If I am back in time, I will stream the feed from here. In the meantime, is saying they will stream it live. The feed isn't up yet but they promise to start having stuff starting at 5:30pm EST. It's a big day in UK's 2010 season!!!

Today's Jockey at Churchill Downs - Goes Down

So some non-recruiting news on a beautiful Oaks Day here in Louisville.

Donna Brothers is known for her ability to interview on horseback, she's just not able to be interviewed on horseback. The second most winningest female jockey of all time, gets tossed from the horse during the Today Shows coverage of the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Oaks Day.

Calipari Twitter Code Revealed!

Cal revealed his much talked/twittered/blogged about secret code today:
OK, I know it’s been killing you guys to know what Coach Larry Brown’s great idea was for our program.
Well, it was to wear one piece uniforms made of tinfoil!...No, really it’s to have our own Junior Varsity team.
It’s not a done deal but that was what Coach said. I talked to Roy Williams who has one & I've asked UK's administration 2 look into it.
It's a great way 2 get more KY kids in the program. We r the commonwealth’s team! The secret code was “having a varsity team plus aJV team!
So while I always thought Louisville was Kentucky's JV squad... the Cats are looking to get one up and running.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Enes Kanter Makes His Debut and Brandon Knight Drops

I have a feeling this guy is going to be pretty good. just released the final rankings of the class of 2010. In a surprise, Josh Selby (point guard) overtook Brandon Knight (point guard) as the #1 high school player in the land. Knight dropped down to the #6 spot. "Why the drop?", you ask. I think much of this has to do with Knight's performances in the All-Star games of which he participated. Knight did not light up the world in any of the games he was in but he did hit a game winning three during the McDonald's All American game.

Enes Kanter (center) made his debut on the list and he sky-rocketed to the #3 player in the land and overtaking Jared Sullinger (center) as the #1 big man. Kanter impressed and wowed everyone when he played in the Nike Hoops Summit game. That huge double-double will be legendary for a while. Not many people have seen Kanter in person but the word is out about him and he is being looked at as one of the best, if not the best, high school player in the nation. Maybe even the world.

Other Cats on the list: Doron Lamb (shooting guard) stayed steady at #21 and Stacey Poole (forward) fell out of the top 20 to #33. Poole did not impress at the Derby City Classic but did contribute.

Future Cats: The only other Wildcat target listed is Terrence Jones (forward) and he stayed at #13. Jones is rumored to be going to Kentucky since rival power forward CJ Leslie (forward) committed for sure to play for NC State. This could be the in that Jones was looking for.

Dirty Cards: Gorgui Dieng (center) makes his debut at an impressive #44. Not much was known about this kid until he received the MVP at the Derby City classic. He may be a project but he is a good project to have. He is athletic and has unlimited potential. If Samardo Samuels goes to the NBA then Dieng could be called upon to contribute right away.

Justin Coleman (Forward) dropped out of the top 40 to #50. I'm not sure why exactly because he had an impressive run at the DCC as well. I am not sure if they are factoring in his academic trouble into the equation but it is possible.

UofL commit Russ Smith (point guard) was not listed in the top 150 and UK target Marcus Thornton (forward) sits at #121.

What does this all mean? Absolutely nothing. We UK fans love to track recruits and high five each other when we land them. The truth of the matter is that we won't know how good they are until they put on that uniform and play against other college guys. Terrence Jennings was the #18 recruit in the country and listed as a 5 star player in 2008 and has been mediocre at best. DeAndre Liggins was a four star recruit and listed at #28. He has been inconsistent in play and consistently in the dog house but did show some improvement this year under Calipari.

Does anyone remember 4 star Louisville recruits Amir Johnson and Bryan Harvey? I didn't think so. How about 5 star Derrick Caracter? Oh yea, he flopped at UofL and then went and played decent for UTEP. Jodie Meeks was a 4 star player and ended up looking 5 star. Let's see what happens once the ball is in play.

P.S. Don't expect any less smack-talk when the Cats land top prospects. It's still a good indicator of where your program is going if you can land top talent and then get them to perform.

Terrence Jones to Kentucky: The (Un)Official Word

The Newest Wildcat according to the Seattle Times.

Fresh after being snubbed by CJ Leslie, the Cats have focused all of their attention on power forward Terrence Jones. According to the Seattle Times, Larry Vaught of the Advocate-Messenger says Terrence Jones will be a Wildcat at his press conference tomorrow. This would mean that he would not go to favorite Washington, as it was presumed that he and Terrence Ross both would. Again, this is all speculation, but landing the kid would be a huge boost for the Cats.

--- Updated by MM 12:54 am: Fortunately, there are many other 'sources' claiming Jones to UK... Unfortunately, BoogieWoogie didn't link any of them so I thought it best to update the article.

TJ vs CJ: Terrence Jones still plan A for Kentucky

The last piece to the puzzle, can Calipari make Terrence Jones fit?

CJ Leslie may have broken John Calipari's streak of getting the players Kentucky wants, but in all reality Leslie may have just been a foreshadowing of tomorrow's decision of Terrence Jones.

Leslie and Jones both play the same position and the inside knowledge recruits tend to have on one another's decisions could have led Leslie to take NC State over the Cats. While the Cats will have plenty of PT to go around, Leslie has been deemed more of a 'me-first' player recently and may have wanted more PT than he than he would receive if he landed at the same school as Jones.

Terrence Jones is a 6'9" lefty from Portland Oregon. He is ranked equally with Leslie but whereas Leslie is associated more with his attitude, Jones is the quiet team oriented player. Many UK fans have been more excited and interested in TJ versus CJ and if Cal can pull off the signature tomorrow it would be an upgrade.

The signing of Jones, would be huge for next season's prospects. Jones would be likely be an immediate starter along with the expected lineup of Brandon Knight, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller, and Enes Kanter.

Jones will make his decision at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Jefferson High in Portland at a joint news conference with Terrence Ross (a UK target and nice-to-have).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

CJ Leslie: "I'm going to NC State"

CJ Leslie verbally committed to NC State this afternoon.

CJ Leslie announced his decision today that he would be attending North Carolina State University. Leslie has already verbally committed to NC State before and after reopening his recruitment, chose to run with the Wolfpack again. Leslie is one of the better 4 spots in the 2010 class and this may make one of the biggest coups of the Calipari recruiting saga to date, especially if the equally gifted Terrence Jones stays away from the Cats.

T-Will Takes Flight: I believe he believes he can fly

Don't look now, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's...
DON'T Everyone go rushing off the site at once, but Terrence Williams will be hosting a basketball camp in June.  Here's the details:
T-Will’s School of Flight basketball camp will be held in Louisville, KY from June 7th to June 10th.
*Terrence will be at camp each day to provide hands-on instruction.

*There will be camp giveaways with tons of prizes to win each day.

*Former and current Louisville players and coaches will provide instruction to camp participants the entire week.

The price of the camp is $200 per participant. Sign up for the camp HERE or call 888-574-6677

So boys and girls, go get your mom's purse and use all that forging of her signature you did in school for some real world use... write T-Will a check and sign me up too!

Drake: This is how Kentucky rolls

Drake, Boogie, Wall, and Bledsoe on Drake's bus last night at the concert

Last night Drake was in concert in Lex-Vegas. Lexington was a buzz and everyone (who is anyone) was in attendance, including the UK Men's basketball team. Drake's known for being a huge UK fan and invited the team and coaching staff to join him on stage. Afterwards, the Wildcat crew joined the rapper on his tour bus for a little hang-out time.

While some people have a problem with the team joining a rapper on stage and then going back to his bus, I think it's all apart of the culture today's 17-22 year old guys enjoy. The coaching staff was present and they are legally adults - so as long as they are having fun, being good, and not pulling a Rothlisberger, I'm fine with it - you should be too.

LeBron's Arm and Other News of the Day

LeBron James has taste.

The Cleveland Cavaliers closed out their series against the Chicago Bulls last night but it wasn't without any drama. The Bulls hung in there the whole game and ended up losing only by two points. LeBron James was his usual bad-ass self with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. But the real story here is that James appeared to have injured his right elbow and caused him to shoot free throws left-handed. He aggravated the elbow while playing the Bulls in Chicago last week. LeBron has come out to say that he will be fine with some rest and that the Cavs fans have nothing to worry about. I beg to differ. Cavs fans, you need to be worried because:

  • The Boston Celtics will start a series with LeBron and his Cavs. The Celtics beat the Heat 4-1 in their opening series. If LeBron is hobbled and can't perform to his usual abilities then the Celtics will have the advantage. The C's have a better bench and a better set of role players than the Cavs. The Celtics have looked more impressive against a tougher opponent than the Cavaliers did against the lowest seed in the East.

  • The Mavericks have extended their playoff hopes by defeating the Spurs last night. The series stands at 3-2 in favor of San Antonio. Look for the Spurs to boot the Mavs when they return to San Antonio.

  • Kobe and his band of jerks finally looked like they wanted to play basketball again and dispatched Kevin Durant and his Thunder last night to the tune of 111-87. If the Lakers have finally woken up then look for the Thunder to play their last game in OKC this Friday.

  • NFL quarterback news not concerning Ben Roethlisberger: The Oakland Raiders seem to be ready to dump franchise quarterback and #1 overall pick JeMarcus Russell. The Raiders just got former Redskins QB Jason Campbell in a trade and many felt that the release of Russell was the next step. Russell is fat, overpaid and unimproved. Monster Mash is now a happy camper.

The Jarrod Polson Chest Thumping Article

The last time I saw this many white boys on the court was during the Butler vs. Duke national title game. Oh, that's Polson regulating on some poor soul. He will be doing that to Peyton Siva this year.

Yesterday The University of Kentucky basketball team received a commitment from West Jessamine's Jarrod Polson. He will be added to the team as a walk-on with the chance to get a scholarship. Polson is a 6'3" point guard that is a Kentucky native. He lost out to Elisha Justice, a new member of the Dirty Cards, for the Mr. Basketball award. Justice chose the Dirty Cards over the superb Wildcats. That's ok because Marquis Teague chose the fantastic Wildcats over the Dirty Cards because he wants to win. I think the immaculate Wildcats got the better of the deal. Oh, and former Dirty Cards commit Michael Chandler is also looking to play for the awesome Wildcats. Also because he likes to win.

Polson is the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,884 points in his career. He was named first team All-State by a number of publications. His choices were the mighty Liberty University and the University of Kentucky. He picked the Cats.

Polson said he will wear his uniform with pride and do what he can to help win a national championship at Kentucky. I am looking forward to seeing Polson take Justice to school. That is if the two of them ever get off of the bench.

Stay tuned for the Terrence Jones and CJ Leslie decisions that will be coming soon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Everything you wanted to know about the 2010 Derby (but were afraid to ask)

As a service to all the fair weather horse racing fans out there (myself included), I have compiled a mercifully short break down of the 2010 Kentucky Derby field.
Sorted on the only categories most of us understand, here a few of this year’s contenders:

The Favorite
Looking at Lucky
Trained by Bob Baffert, this colt has won 6 of his 9 career starts and has never finished out of the money.

The Filly
Devil May Care
One of trainer Todd Pletcher’s 6 entries, she is considered a serious contender by those in the know. She has won 3 of her 5 starts and finished 5th and 11th in the other 2.

The Mudder
Nobel’s Promise
He has run in ‘Sloppy’ conditions 5 times and won twice. Veteran jockey Robby Albarado can only help his chances.

The Long Shot
At 60-1 he may have the best name and worst qualifications in the field.

The Trendy Picks
Sidney’s Candy, Ice Box, Dublin

The Best Names
Mission Impazible, Paddy O’Prado, Stately Victor

Kentucky's Eric Bledsoe to Sign with Agent

Bledsoe joins the remainder of the Kentucky fab freshmen (and Patrick Paterson) and leaves the team. is stating that Eric Bledsoe will sign with an agent.
"Kentucky's Eric Bledsoe has made it official, He's entering the draft and signing with an agent. He had a lot to return for but appears to be a near lock for the first round."
So while it was recently rumored on this site and many others that Bledsoe was reconsidering due to his potential draft status (he has projected from #12 to late 2nd Rd), the signing with an agent will seal-the-deal.

If he is a "Lock" it should seal it and Eric should go and only look back when it's All-Star weekend and he's taking a visit back to the Alma-Mater with Wall, Cousins, and Patterson. I welcome the press conference that I probably won't be able to understand but I will be able to get the point with his huge smile and polite "Yes Sir."

---- Update 4/28--- Eric Bledsoe has not signed with an agent and will not make a decision until May 8th, the last day to remove your name from the draft.

Rumor Watch: ESPN Rise reporting CJ Leslie is UK Lock

Terrence Jones and CJ Leslie enjoying each other's company at a Kentucky game. Could they be on the bench together next season too?
Its recruiting season, which means on a blog you have to spread some rumors and share 'news' that 'sources' gave you. So in the spirit of the season, here's what ESPN Rise had to say about CJ Leslie this morning.
A reliable source tell us that Leslie, ranked No. 11 in the ESPNU 100, wants to be the last to commit and will hold out until he is.

Leslie is down to Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky and N.C. State. He was supposed to visit Gainesville after the Jordan Brand Classic, but the trip was cancelled -- and with it the likelihood of him landing with the Gators.

We're hearing that he's a lock to Kentucky. Wildcats head coach John Calipari made quite an impression on Leslie when he came to his house on the first day of the April contact period.
So there you have it, mark it down, an affiliate of the Worldwide Leader in Sports has Leslie a Lock... it's just going to be a while. My guess though is that if Leslie was a "lock" would he really wait to see where all the chips fall?

The Billy G Rumor Mill: It's so Hot Right Now

Please hire me.

It's a rainy Tuesday. Hopefully all the rain will be gone by this weekends Derby festivals. I will refrain from any other mention of the Derby in this post because it is getting to the point of overkill. I only follow horse racing once a year and this is that one time. It's already getting on my nerves:

  • Who's ready for some more Billy Gillispie coaching rumors? It is rumored that Billy G is highly interested in coaching the Iowa State Cyclones basketball team. This is about the 100th team that he has expressed interest in him or vice-versa. Looking at the Iowa State message boards (I know! I was surprised they actually existed too!) the Cyclone nation isn't too thrilled about the prospect of Billy getting a DUI in their neck of the woods.

  • Everybody hates Big Ben. According to an ESPN Outside the Lines report, Ben was facing some resentment from his teammates long before he started cornering women in bathrooms. Ex-teammates have come out blasting Ben for being a diva and local Pittsburgh restaurant and bar owners have slammed the QB for being a jerk to workers and patrons. Hold up your hand if you want this douche to fall off the face of the Earth and never be heard from again?

  • Ok, I tried to refrain from a Derby story but this has to do with Kentucky basketball, so I have to do it. John Calipari, John Wall and Patrick Patterson will all be on the red carpet at the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala. For some reason there is a picture of Boogie on the CJ's website with celebrities such as Maris Miller and Rebecca Romaijn Stamos Oconnell. He is not mentioned as being a guest. One can only hope. Rick Pitino and Karen Sypher did not RSVP to the event.

  • A little bit of late NFL draft news concerning the Wildcats. The Cats had three players drafted this past weekend: Corey Peters, Trevard Lindley and The Terminator. Linebacker Micah Johnson just got invited to workout for the Giants. I have a feeling he will make it. He is very athletic and he looks like the Hulk. Good luck Micah! As for the Dirty Cards: 0 players drafted.

  • CJ Leslie update: he concluded his trip to UConn this weekend but I would say he sounded less than thrilled about the visit. All he said was that they showed him the campus and told him that he was a good player. That's about it. It's really a two team race between the Cats and NC State. It is said that he would decide "pretty quickly". I hope he does soon. Between him and Terrence Jones, I am getting pretty anxious. Power forward is a position that is lacking for the Cats for next season.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Calipari's Twitter Teasing like an 80's Teen Hair

Earlier today, I told you about Cal's tempting Tweets leading the BBN to breakout their decoder rings and dork it up. It had his tweeps (that's twitter people) guessing all the things the Larry Brown/John Calipari convo could have been about.

Cal was at it again shortly before most people start to fall asleep, giving one 'clue' to all his followers.
So, b4 u go 2 bed - let me give u one clue, it involves players.
After writing this article, I've realized I'm slowly becoming addicted to Twitter like a guy in his 20's becomes addicted to smoking, you do it because everyone else did it 10 years ago, but then you just can't put it down... cough, cough Coury Flurry.

Things Looking up in Da Ville

Two good news stories about Louisville in one day? Well, I'll be damned! It looks like Justin Coleman might make the grade after all. He needs to take and pass some summer courses according to Jody Demling. He's not out of the woods just yet, but things are at least looking up. Now if Ricky P can get that Sypher date moved back then it will be like last week never happened!

Calipari Teases Big Surprise via Tweets

Last week, Coach Calipari announced that he had spoken with Larry Brown of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats. After the conversation, Cal tweeted that he had a "BIG" idea that would be program changing and it sent his +1 million twitter followers into a frenzy. Today Cal had this to say:

I hear people are going crazy wondering what did Coach Brown and I talk about.
He said ....
You know what? I'm not quite ready to discuss it. Can u decipher it? He talked about *thd#j r &ftwxim ^ei* @$xf 6$2 T*^$!
I haven't got my decoder ring in the mail yet, but if it says "Drink more Ovaltine" I will be pissy. But the surprise still remains, and the BIG change is still looming. Guess Cal will keep us guess a little while longer.

---Updated --- 10:30pm Cal Gives a hint

Fist Pump for Ricky 3 Stacks

The Cardinals got a big commitment today, ok not big, but a commitment from a Big Man today. Gorgei Dieng the 6'10" Senegal native signed his LOI with Ricky P and the Louisville Cardinals. Dieng chose the Cardinals over Marquette, Marshall, and Colorado.

NBA Playoff Update and Other Things of Interest

The Durantula is coming for you Kobe!

So far my NBA first round series predictions are looking damn good at the moment. Both upsets that I picked (Jazz over Nuggets/Spurs over Mavs) look solid with my picks sitting at 3-1. There is only one sweep possible and that is Orlando over Charlotte. The only predictions of mine that might be in jeopardy are the Suns/Blazers (not shocking) and the Lakers/Thunder (very shocking). Let's get to it:

  • LeBron James is my favorite NBA player but Kevin Durant is a close second right now. He and the Thunder are giving the defending champs all they want in a tough series. The series is tied 2-2 and it is heading back to LA. If Durant can will OKC to win one at LA then I think it is a distinct possibility that there could be a HUGE upset. Ron Artest is doing a decent job guarding Durant but it is still not enough. It is hard to guard a 6-9 bean pole that can shoot, drive and defend. He's fun to watch and so is his team. Kobe has been a ghost due to a myriad of injuries. Will Kobe show up to defend what is his?

  • Karen Sypher Update!: The estranged wife of Tim Sypher (an equipment manager that made six figures. A little fishy, don't ya think?) and estranged mistress of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, is seeking a delay in her extortion trial. Jury selection is set to begin May 19 and May 20. The trial is set to begin June 1. She is also asking that the trial be moved to Bowling Green or Lexington because her lawyers do not think that she can get a fair trial because of Rick Pitino's prominence in the Louisville area. Prominence! Ha! Now that is comedy!

  • This is the final week that recruits can commit to universities and Kentucky is looking at three recruits in particular and their decisions: CJ Leslie, Terrence Jones and Marcus Thornton. The Cats really, really need a power forward, so the commitments of Leslie and Jones are of great importance. Thornton would be a nice addition to the team and would fill in some gaps. We will keep you posted.

  • Some interesting news on former (allegedly) point guard Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe has yet to hire an agent or file his paper work with the NBA. Apparently he is leaving the door wide open. He stands to lose some major ground in the draft if he has poor workouts in front of scouts. We are talking first round to maybe not even drafted. We'll keep a close eye on the Bledsoe situation.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I love naps on rainy days: Brought to you by the Letter Q

This article is brought to you by the letter Q and Quincy Miller
So earlier today while succumbing to the temptation of Qdoba, I pondered over the 2011 recruiting class Kentucky has in the making. A class that is shaping up to become the best ever after getting verbals from #1 Michael Gilchrist and #2 Marquis Teague. That led my thoughts to the #3 overall player Quincy "Q" Miller and the fun times to be had on the blogosphere.

Big Blue Nation, which latches on nicknames tighter than a teenage girl to a vampire movie, would have a friendly nickname to play with in the headlines. Here are some, should Miller decide to become a Wildcat:

1) Q-Cards:  Instead of being prompts for what is about to happen, "Q-Cards" would begin appearing around the state with past poses, dunks, dishes, and other highlights of Miller and the Cats.

2) High-Q: Like the IQ, measuring intelligence, the High-Q measures a players collective dunks. This would be the new Legend of Cobb Touchdown counter poster-board.

3) 'Doba conflict: Since at the mention of Q, fans would tune out and start think about Kentucky basketball anyone arranging dinner/lunch plans would need to refer to the location as 'doba to avoid going hungry or eating alone.

4) QVC: The television shopping network will receive an unexpected television ratings boost after Kentucky fans will tune in expecting to see Quincy Miller highlights. Finding that the station is merely selling fake diamonds and Wolfgang Puck contraptions, they'll be forced to choose between Big Blue Merchandise and that pasta/bread maker combo.

5) Q: One should prepare to see the 007 references around Lexington in 2011. As the research and development leader in the James Bond movies, the Q of the Cats will have a similar lineup of hidden skills in his arsenal.

6) Q-Tip: Really, this one is just waiting to be had. Quincy is a big body, more than capable of excelling on the glass - leading for some put backs and tip-ins or Q-tips.

7) GQ: So sure, he won't be stunning suits and styling's of Lebron or Kobe. However, watching Q in Blue, that's got the making of a few magazine covers.

He is just a target and it's a long way before we will probably hear anything, but Quincy is a Kentucky target at this point, and if the present is any indication of the future, the Cats have been hitting bullseyes with those targets.

Patrick Patterson, Leaving the Bluegrass for Greener Pastures.

Patrick Patterson announced he was leaving Kentucky Friday for the National Basketball Association in a press conference. So despite the tardiness, I wanted to take an article to wish the big man farewell and best of luck, and look at his story:

Coming off a sub-par season prior to his arrival, the Wildcats needed a big lift. Billy Clyde Gillispie was able to seal a deal Tubby Smith had put into action and get Patrick Patterson signed to play for Kentucky, it gave UK a big time big man they had lacked since the Antoine Walker era.

Patterson was the first recruit that I had ever heard of prior to Big Blue/Midnight Madness. His announcement was the first time I had ever waited for an 'announcement' and when he put on the Kentucky hat and his mom let everyone know he was a Wildcat, Big Blue Nation was 'back.'

However, those predictions didn't pan out for the Cats immediately. Patterson's freshman season, the Cats stumbled back to the NCAA tournament after Patterson suffered a season ending stress fracture. Sophomore year, the Cats failed to make it to the NCAA tournament for the first time since the infamous probation.

Times were tough as a Wildcat and Wildcat fan. BCG was out the door and a new coach John Calipari was announced. 2Pat declared for the NBA for what seemed like moments, before removing his name and coming back to school. Everyone wondered how he would be rewarded for coming back to a system known for guard play, dribbling, and outside shooting, none of which were strong suits to Patterson’s game. Patterson was projected to be a late first round pick after all, now he was coming back and would go from a star to a question mark.

However, the questions were answered nearly immediately. He flew out to San Francisco with incoming Freshman Daniel Orton to train in the off-season. He improved his game and displayed a smooth stroke unseen before from above the key, behind the arc. He was tagged as the captain, leader, and commander on the floor, a spot normally reserved for Point Guards, demanded to be filled by Patterson.

He rallied the other star recruits and pushed them towards an ultimate SEC Regular Season Championship, and SEC Tournament Championship, and his first NCAA appearance as a #1 seed this season.

Although he fell short of his ultimate goal and target to become NCAA Champions, from the time Patterson stepped foot onto the Kentucky campus, he was a legend. He worked hard and that lead to his remarkable rebounding, scoring, blocking, and his best trait is that he demanded others do the same. However his ultimate rebound may be of a failing program. He joined a struggling team, shy of superiority and brought them back to prominence. He can be deemed the quiet soldier who didn't need the spotlight, just the W.

He said it best Friday when he defined himself as "A great ambassador for the university who worked hard on and off the court...He put everyone else before himself..." and was always epitomized by his hard work.

While his numbers will stack him towards the top in statistics, his presence will be known as the best I ever witnessed. From graduating in 3 years to his unpublicized visits to children's hospitals, he was the best student athlete/high character player.

Next years team will be missing the 14 points a game and 7 rebounds, but will be missing their veteran leader even more. Best wishes to Pat as he begins his career after Kentucky.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mini-Marathon Kicks Off with a Hobbit Sighting!!!

So straying away from the College Basketball, NFL, NBA line SportsThat has been on for the last couple weeks, today SportsThat wants to feature the 2010 Derby Mini-Marathon! A personal friend of SportsThat  was spotted early this morning shortly after the start of the race on WHAS11, LMFD's Brian Hobbs. Here's a clip of "the Hobbit" (in a red-tee) his sleeves have already blown off. I believe if you look closely, you can see his lady friend too.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cardinal Fan Whining at an All Time High

As of now the comments on the Courier-Journal Marquis Teague story on their website the comments number 1,004. Yes, 1004. These comments range from UK boastfulness to Cardinal fans hating. Cardinal fans are saying things such as , "Teague isn't going to be good anyways" (didn't hear that this time last year), "Cal cheated to get him,""LeBron called Teague", "World Wide Wes is involved", "Sanctions are coming."

On there is a story about how UK is using unfair tactics and taking players away from Pitino. Really? So hiring a kid's AAU coach in order to get a player is fair game? It's not giving the kid any money but it is giving a person closely affiliated with the kid some money and a job in hopes of landing that kid. It's so fair that the NCAA has made that an illegal practice. Even called it "shady and gross." So watch out next time you use the popular name "Cheatapari" or talk about shady dealings at UK. Win at all costs, right?

And there is the World Wide Wes and the LeBron talk. Get a clue Cards fans: WWW does not have influence over any recruiting. In the day and age of Twitter, Facebook, blogs and a 24 hour news media outlet, you would think that if Wes was showing up at practices, meeting with recruits and families, that we would here about it. We don't. Hell, we knew Teague was picking Kentucky the night before he did it because of Twitter and it ended up being true. So where is the paper trail? As for LeBron calling Teague: didn't happen.What did Teague say about LeBron calling him? "Dang, I didn't even know he called me, so how did anyone else know? It would have been pretty cool if he had called." Shawn Teague, Marquis' father, also denied the reports. It's been more than enough of the false allegations and the wishful thinking.

But I can understand the hate, the accusations and the jealousy. If Rick Pitino would have swooped in and grabbed Brandon Knight at the 11th hour I would have been pissed too. But he didn't because Ricky P can't get it done anymore. If you want to blame someone for the woes that the Cards have experienced in the basketball program for the past year and will continue to experience look no further than at your head coach. Call him and email him. Ask him what the deal is instead of placing all of the blame on unfounded claims against Kentucky and John Calipari.

I'll let you in on a little secret: Calipari is better at recruiting than Pitino. He is more charismatic, he sends kids to the NBA, which is ultimately what a high school basketball player wants to do, and he brings glitz and glam to a program. The winning doesn't hurt either.

There was one point in time when Pitino was THE coach in college basketball back in the 90's when he was going to national title games, winning one of them, coaching in Final Fours and coaching in some of the most epic basketball games that any level had ever seen. Not anymore. He used to land the most coveted recruits in the country. Not anymore. Pitino was Calipari before Calipari was Calipari, but all Louisville fans hated him with a passion in those days and lobbed the same allegations at him that they lob at Calipari now. I guess soon as Rick put on the red it cleansed him of all of his sins.

Enough Kentucky bashing. Enough complaining. Enough whining. Get over it.

Watch Patrick Patterson's Draft Press Conference

Kentucky's Patrick Patterson announces his decision to stay at Kentucky or go to the NBA. Watch live in the video below at 2:30 via the Courier-Journal.

Farewell John Wall

John Wall takes Preston Knowles to school. I hope Preston took notes.

With all of the excitement going on in the Big Blue Nation yesterday and in the past couple of weeks, a little bit of sadness has swept over the land. Yesterday, John Wall gave his farewell press conference and reminded us all why he is so special.

Wall said that he owns only one suit right now and that was the one he wore to the press conference yesterday. He will have enough money to buy as many suits as he wants soon enough. He talked about how he is excited to help his mom buy a house and a car. He loves his mom, a lady that had to work two or three jobs at a time to make up for the loss of Wall's father when Wall was 9 years old.

He left the conference in time to make it to his geology class. There are many smarmy haters that have proclaimed that Wall dropped out of classes back in December and didn't care about school. Wrong. Wall will finish out the year and take his exams, improve on his 3.4 GPA and return to Lexington during the summers to finish his college degree, something that he promised his dying father that he would do.

Wall talked about how much he loved playing for Kentucky and how much he loved the fans. He proclaimed that he will always be a Wildcat and that he cherished his short time in Lexington. He talked about how he viewed John Calipari as a "father figure" and how much Cal helped him mature and develop into a better player. I have a feeling that we will see Wall as the "Y" in Kentucky and he will be a staple at games much like Ashley Judd. He and Boogie will have seats together, I am sure.

Am I happy that Brandon Knight is going to be UK's point guard next year? Absolutely. Am I excited to see Marquis Teague commit to play in 2011? You bet. Would I trade their commitments for Wall staying four years at the University of Kentucky? In a heart beat. That is not a knock against Knight or Teague, I can't wait to see them in the blue and white, but I already know that Wall can play and I know that he is a quality person. I'll miss the exuberance, that cockiness he displayed when he made that Sportscenter highlight dunk, the killer look in his eye when he was about to take the game over and the clutch plays. He only played for a year but I will miss John Wall as much as I miss Chuck Hayes and as much as I will miss Patrick Patterson. Players like Wall don't come around very often.

He has the talent of Derek Rose and Tyreke Evans but they lack his charisma. I doubt the fans in Memphis felt the attachment for those players that the fans at UK have for Wall. I'm not sure how Wall will do in the NBA and honestly I don't care. I know how good he was for the Cats. He didn't win a national title but he started the wheels into motion for one. He electrified a stale program and showed us how to win again and win with pride and gusto. He also introduced the country to the John Wall Dance, something that we will all be doing for years to come.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NFL Draft: Bradford goes first, but Tebow steals the story

The Rams picked the Oklahoma Sooner Sam Bradford with their first pick of the 2010 Draft. The Oakland Raiders successfully passed on offense for the first time since MVP Rich Gannon led the team, by taking a ILB at #8. But the major story from the first round of the NFL Draft is that Tim Tebow was selected in the first round by Denver.

Denver is indeed in need of a QB, just holding onto Kyle Orton, but selecting Tim Tebow as the #2 QB at #25 overall in the first round is a shock. His #25 overall position is ahead of the Mel Kiper/Todd McShay 2nd-3rd round value. That's ahead of the player once hyped as the #1 pick, Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen. That's ahead of Colt McCoy. That's probably even just barely ahead of the days when coach Josh McDaniel's name comes up for those on the 'hot seat.'

But Tebow is a great kid. Anytime you listen to him, his upbeat attitude is infectious. It's near disgusting. Despite a killer hit taken by Kentucky's Defensive backs this season, he has a great head on his shoulders. Despite appearing in controversial Super Bowl commercials, you can't not like him. He's VERY well spoken, intelligent, a team player, big hearted, and that's coming from a guy who dislikes Florida nearly as much as the nation hates Notre Dame.

What remains to be seen is if all of Tebow's off the field bonuses can account for his on-field inaccuracies. But like a good recruiting class, you don't know how you've done for a few years with a QB. What remains to be seen is if he can replace the lowly Kyle Orton on the depth chart within the next few years. My guess, Tebow takes over like a Brady Quinn did in Cleveland last season - after the team is out of the playoff picture and doing a poor job when he does it. But if personality and character are any indication of talent, Tebow should be the next Payton Manning.

Pitino's House of Cards is Crumbling

Rick Pitino just realized he has lost his mojo. Sexual and otherwise. " I guess I can enjoy watching Teague play for the Wildcats and beat my scrub team."

Marquis Teague, the Louisville Cardinals #1 recruit, has committed to play basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats. Teague had a lot to say on the subject. He said that, "I really don't expect them to be happy," when talking about Louisville. He says he "Thinks highly of coach Calipari and the things he's done for guards in the past years."

It helped that Michael Gilchrist (the #1 2011 recruit and Wildcat commit) and Teague are friends. "I've been talking to him for a long time about playing together." Teague now joins a team that could be one of the best recruiting classes ever. The class already boasts the #1 and #2 players. They are positioned to also get the #3 player in the country, Quincy Miller.

In 2009 Louisville fans were talking about how their 2011 class is going to be great. Not anymore. Teague has gone to Kentucky and Michael Chandler just opened up his recruitment again and Calipari has visited Chandler. Uh-oh.

What do you do if you are Rick Pitino? He put all of his effort into getting Teague. He put two years into the kid, went to his games, hired one of Teague's assistant coaches and he even coached his father. I think a few things factor into what is going on here:

  • This past season did not help. The Cardinals were a veteran team, despite Pitino's excuses at the end. The "lack of experience" he talked about should not have come into effect. Sosa, Smith, Delk and Samuels, 4 of the starting 5, started last year or saw significant minutes. The only guy that was a freshman that came off the bench on a regular basis was Siva. They looked awful at times and were unimpressive. Kentucky had a youthful team and it showed in the Elite Eight but they saw victory all year long. Youth isn't much of an excuse if the youth is talented and well coached.

  • The trial with Sypher is hurting. You have to think that parents and kids are looking at it and saying "This is some kind of a mess." Is this a small reason for things going bad? Maybe, but it factors into things such as where Pitino's focus truly is and how much time and effort he will be able to put into his job with all of the other stress surrounding him. He is not on trial but there will be some sordid details coming out that he will have to explain or defend.

  • Pitino ain't what he used to be. He had two very impressive runs a couple of years ago but he hasn't had any top recruits come in since Samuels and is losing his future stars left and right. The future does not look bright for the Cards. Yes they there will be a new arena but that arena is not going to win ball games and that arena alone does not bring in recruits. Winning brings in recruits. Was the 4 year extension really the path to go with Pitino?

The sad thing is that Louisville has 7 more years of this to suffer through with Pitino. Calipari has established himself as the best recruiter in the state and the best in the country. UK is hard to pass up with the tradition, the attention and the track record. Teague's choice seemingly was not much of a choice at all. Rick Pitino has to be thinking that there is no recruit out there that he wants that Calipari can't really get if he wanted to. Just Sayin'.

Teague's a Wildcat

Its official, Marquis Teague has committed to UK. He can't sign until November so there's still 'doubt' but he's Kentucky bound as of now. The next stop on the Grand-Theft Cardinal video game is Michael Chandler - the one time #10 overall 2011 Cardinal committment, now UK target!

KSR Covers Marquis Teagues Big Decision

KSR covers Marquis Teague and his big decision to go to college.

Teague to Kentucky: The (Un) Official Announcement

According to Tony Wroten's Twitter, Marquis Teague will announce that he is going to be a Wildcat today, much to the chagrin of the Card Chronicle. Tony Worten is also a 2011 Kentucky recruit, a friend of Michael Gilchrist and a friend of Teague's. Wroten also further insinuates that since both Teague and Gilchrist are coming to UK that he is going to follow his friends as well.

IF all of this is true then I am putting Pitino on suicide watch. The maligned coach has to be questioning what the hell is wrong with his performance at this point. There are also rumors that 2011 5 star shooting guard and Louisville recruit Wayne Blackshear will be decommiting if Teague goes to the Cats. I will have more on this later and the Cards fans reactions after Teague announces his decision personally at 1:30 today.

Also: John Wall holds final press conference at 10 a.m. Goodbye John and good luck in the pros. Make the Cats proud. You will be missed.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Patterson and Wall Set to say Goodbye=Depression

The end is near.
Reasons for Depression:

John Wall and Patrick Patterson are scheduled to give press conferences at 10a.m. tomorrow (Wall) and 2:30 p.m. Friday (Patterson). Both are expected to announce that they are not coming back to Kentucky.

It was expected from the day Wall signed that he would be a one and done guy, but the fact that Wall was such a positive person and such a good player makes this goodbye tough. Wall brought swagger, enthusiasm and excitement back to a team that had been depressed from years of mediocre basketball He broke records, electrified crowds, won games and became a leader. He was known to work as hard in the classroom as he did on the court. Kentucky would not have won as many games if it was not for Wall's performance in clutch time.

What can I say about Pat that hasn't already been said? The quiet leader, the shining example of a student athlete, the dominant force that he could be on the court and the love he has for the University of Kentucky. Stories about Patterson staying late to sign autographs, showing up unannounced at a children's hospital to meet with a young girl that he had talked briefly to on Facebook and befriending everyone he met will stay with Kentucky for years to come. He embodies what a student athlete should be. Be embodies what a Wildcat should be. Patrick Patterson is one of the greatest to ever wear a uniform.
Reason for Possible Depression:

Marquis Teague, the #2 recruit in 2011, will make his official announcement tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. He is expected to announce UK or UofL Rick Pitino met with Teague yesterday and John Calipari is meeting with him today. I will be depressed if Teague picks the Cards but I won't be completely devastated. We still have Michael Gilchrist, the #1 recruit, already committed.
Louisville has done everything they can to get Teague, including hiring Shabaka Lands, one of Teague's coaches. I'm sure Louisville fans would be up in arms if Kentucky would have hired one of their recruits coaches. You know what I'm talking about: "Cheaters", "Win at all costs", "Whatever it takes", "Cal is dirty but Pitino is a saint", the usual drivel we come to expect from the Cardinal faithful. The reason for my disappointment would be seeing him go to Louisville. There, I said it.

Look on the Bright Side:

Brandon Knight, UK's new stud point guard, made the first All-USA high school team. He joins Harrison Barnes (UNC), Jared Sullinger (OSU), Kyrie Irving (Duke), and Tobias Harris (UT) on the first team list.

UK shooting guard Doron Lamb made the second team and Michale Gilchrist made the second team as a junior. The only other junior on the list is Austin Rivers. Rivers just decommited from Florida and is looking closely at Duke. Terrence Jones, another UK target, also made the second team. He is expected to announce his commitment on Saturday or Sunday.

While we say goodbye to two of our favorite players we can welcome in some brand new guys that we will assuredly grow to love. It's the Circle of Life. (Cue Lion King Theme Song)

Big Ben's Time Ticking in Pittsburgh

Steeler "outcast" Big Ben, like the rappers, won't be getting any hits soon after his 4-6 game suspension.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are being reported to be shopping QB Ben Roethlisberger
for a top 10 pick in the 2010 draft. They have recently contacted the St. Louis Rams about a possible switch for the first overall spot, the Rams declined.

Other teams have been said to not enter talks until Roethlisberger's suspension length is officially decided. The suspension is currently set at 4-6 games, but there is talks that it could be reduced depending on Big Ben's compliance with the leagues conduct policy and an evaluation with a counselor.

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh traded a seventh-round pick in the draft to Tampa Bay for Byron Leftwich, adding depth to the QB position in anticipation of a possible Roethlisberger suspension.

The NBA Playoffs: So Far

"You bet your ass I like Kentucky."

The NBA Playoffs have not been without their drama and it's still only April. Some of the most entertaining bits have been Joakim Noah's constant running of the mouth about the city of Cleveland (some of which I agree) and Kevin Garnett's elbow to the grill of Miami Heat's Quentin Richardson for running his mouth over injured Celtic Paul Pierce. An awesome melee ensued and Garnett was suspended for Game 2. It didn't matter. Boston blew out the Heat in a statement game that Miami failed to show up for.

Here are the standings thus far:

Cavs over Bulls 2-0
Celtics over Heat 2-0
Hawks over Bucks 2-0
Magic over Bobcats 1-0

Lakers over Thunder 2-0
Nuggets tied with Jazz 1-1
Suns tied with Blazers 1-1
Mavs over Spurs 1-0

Best performance so far:
LeBron James goes for 40 points, 8 boards, 8 assists and 69% from the field in game 2 against the Bulls. I watched this game and LeBron went off in the 4th quarter and looked unstoppable. If the guy can just get one other teammate to be consistent the title is his.

Best looking team so far:
The Celtics looked like they're pissed off and that's when they play their best basketball. It was supposed to be close because it is a 4 seed against 5 seed match up but the Celtics look like they did when they won it all two years ago. They look dangerous.

Worst looking team so far:
Did anybody tell someone on the Heat other than Dewayne Wade that there is a series going on? The Heat have looked dead and there is no sign of life other than D-Wade.

Best chance for an upset:
Even though the Jazz are banged up I still think that they can pull off the upset against the Nuggets. Without coach George Karl, the Nuggets lose their cool and composure quickly. He is the steady hand that rights the ship full of hot heads like Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin, The Birdman and JR Smith.

Big Ben suspended 4-6 games

Ben "no means yes" Roethlisberger was suspened by the NFL commissioner for four to six games for the 2010 season. I guess that means he won't be sleezing around any Georgia night clubs anytime soon. The Steelers have also implemented a "zero tolerance" policy so I'm sure Ben's teammates are thrilled with him as well. Oh well, I guess when the legal system fails we can always count on the NFL to exact their own form of justice.

The Big 10's Gain is the Big East's Loss

The Big 10 is getting greedy and it could spell doom for Big East football. The Big 10 Athletic Conference is looking to expand it's number of teams and has been holding meetings for the past couple of days. The commissioner of the Big 10 will meet with reporters today to discuss what he wants to do. Here is the Big 10 as it stands today:

Michigan State
Ohio State
Penn State

The Big 10 is looking to make a grab at some of the schools in the Big East and the Big 12. Their wish list includes Louisville, Syracuse, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Texas, Missouri and Nebraska. Out of those teams, I think that the Big 10 would want Syracuse, Rutgers, Texas and Nebraska the most. The reason behind this is because Syracuse and Rutgers would capture the New York market while Texas and Nebraska would add two traditional football powerhouses to the conference. It's all about viewers and money and football draws the most of those out of all the major college sports.

What does this mean for the Big East? The Big East already survived a huge loss with the bolting of Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech when the ACC expanded. The Big East added Louisville, Cincinnati and South Florida to the conference. The Big East has been a weak football conference ever since the change over but the ACC hasn't fared much better.

The loss of Louisville, Syracuse and Rutgers would hurt the Big East the most. It would decrease viewership and interest and further weaken an already terrible football conference. Not that Louisville or Syracuse has been any good as of late but at least that have competitive in recent memory.

Then there is the ever lingering question about Notre Dame. I am a Notre Dame fan but I am sick of the Irish acting like they are too good to join a football conference. If I were the Big East I would have told Notre Dame long ago that if they aren't going bring in the football team then they can take their basketball and baseball teams and take a hike. The Big 10 would love to add Notre Dame to the conference. Talk about BIG money.

The Big 12 is going to fight hard for their teams. Texas, Nebraska and Missouri are all popular teams that draw decent ratings, especially Texas. Texas was the runner-up in this past year's BCS championship game and won it in 2005. They won't go down without a fight.

I think that by the time all of this is over the Big 10 will add about three or four teams. Only time will tell which teams it will be.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Racism against White People: It's Awesome!

As a white guy I rarely feel like I'm discriminated against. In all honesty, I've never felt like someone treated me differently because I'm white. It's a shame that minorities in our country do not feel likewise. Many African Americans can easily recall instances when they have felt racism directly, as can Latino Americans, Asian Americans, etc...

There is one facet of our culture in which the racism is reversed in some cases: Sports. Toby Gerhart, the Heisman Trophy runner-up, is a white running back from Stanford that is about to enter the NFL draft this weekend. Can anybody name a starting white running back? Has any of you actually seen a white running back that starts more than maybe one game here or there? Exactly, you can't.

Gerhart is feeling the pressure of being a white player that is going out for a position that is dominated by black players. He claims that he is asked about it in interviews for teams and also that one insider states that the reason that he won't be a first round pick is because he is white. What's my opinion on the subject? If he is good enough he will play for a team, regardless of color.

I will be brutally honest here: I usually can't stand watching white guys play basketball. In fact, it pains me. Watching Duke vs. Butler this year in the final game was like going to the dentist for a two and a half hour root canal procedure. Slow, defensive, boring white boy ball. Gag. Does that mean I'm racist against my own race?

It's not like black players haven't felt the same treatment. It's been said among racists and other ignorant people that black men cannot play quarterback. Rush Limbaugh, racist and moron extraordinaire, was fired from ESPN for saying that the NFL gave special treatment to Donovan McNabb because they wanted a black quarterback to succeed. One has to ask one's self wtf was ESPN thinking when they hired that windbag in the first place.

I would like to say in conclusion that yes, Gerhart is being discriminated against because white running backs have not been a factor in the NFL for about 50 years and there is a reason for that: They Suck. A lot of white guys like to point to Mike Alstott as an example of a good white running back and to that I say this: he was a glorified fullback.

University of Louisville News of the Day

"We are going to pay top dollar to open a new arena, get a sub-par product and a lackluster performance from a coach that had his best days at our rival school! HOOORAAAYYYY!!"

Yes my friends, there is Louisville news today and it's not all bad! Well, some of it maybe.

2 Sam maybe be going into the NBA:

As reported yesterday by Monster Mash, Louisville center Samardo Samuels may be going to the NBA draft. Samuels is allegedly quoted as saying, "I am looking forward to showing GM's across the NBA my total repertoire of skills." Two things are fishy about this statement: #1 The source in which SamSam said this quote is not revealed; #2 I doubt SamSam would use a word like "repertoire" in his statement.

Louisville is now admitting that he is going to "test the waters" which is contrary to yesterday's statement that he is not going at all. His Jamaican team is adamant that the center is going to go into the draft. Samuels needs to stay and work on his game. He is not NBA ready. Plus, I want to see Enes Kanter make him his little girl at KFC Yum! Center next season.

UofL's sporting facilities are detrimental to America's health:

The Louisville Cardinals football team plays in a pizza box and the basketball team plays in a bucket of chicken. There is an obesity epidemic in this country that is largely due to America's over-consumption of fast food. The University of Louisville is now personally responsible for promoting heart disease and little fat kids all over these wonderful United States. I have a few suggestions for some health conscious new names for their facilities:

Jared's Subway Eat Fresh Facility

Kirstie Alley's Jenny Craig Compound

Chrish Berman's Nutrisystem Field

Nature's Finest Granola Bar Stadium

Rick Pitino's House of Ill Repute

Ok, so that last one had nothing to do with health food or weight loss, but Rick Pitino deals in the flesh trade part time for suplimental income so he can continue paying the substantial debt that he owes to Tim Sypher. Any one of these names would be a huge improvement over the unhealthy names to these places of athletic competition.

Marquis Teague will announce that he is going tom Kentucky at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday

I'm just kidding. I really have no idea where the kid is going and neither does anyone else. The Teague question is one of the biggest mysteries in all of college basketball recruiting. What it is that we do know for sure is that he is going to go to either UK or UofL. Your guess is as good as mine where he ends up.

Scenario if he chooses the Dirty Cards: Rick Pitino saves some face in recruiting after 2 lackluster years and the loss of Chandler from Friends. He deals Calipari a rare loss in the recruiting wars and then celebrates with a bottle of cheap wine and some hookers from the Body Shop. Cards fans exhale in a collective sigh of relief and then they will again boast about how the 2011 team will be the greatest team ever assembled in the history of the NCAA.

Scenario if he chooses the illustrious Wildcats: Coach Calipari firmly establishes himself as the best recruiter in the country, a title he already has, and Ricky P is left at the alter by another recruit, diminishing his skills on the recruitment front and further pushing him into the shadows as a force in college basketball. UK fans will puff their chests and proclaim their superiority over their main rival. The Cats will then be poised to take the honors as the #1 class in 2011.

That's all the news on the Cardinal front today. Keep coming back to Sportsthat for more Cardinal drama as SamSam makes his decision, Pitino faces off against Karen Sypher and Teague gives his final answer.

Side note: If the UofL fans are offended by my UofL reporting then one of our UofL writers needs to step to the plate and start reporting. Until then, expect more smart-ass reporting and biased analysis. Have a lovely day.

Monday, April 19, 2010

2Can 2 Sam Flies Coop: Samardo Samuels to NBA

Samardo Samuels was reported by the Jamacain Basketball Association to have entered his name in the NBA draft. Rick Pitino, during his Yum! Center naming press conference, denied this claim and Louisville announced Samuels had not entered.  Ajani Williams of the Jamaica Basketball Association then insisted that Samardo Samuels has declared for Draft and was set to contact UL.

So based on this latest "he said - she said" at UL, it appears Samuels has probably declared, but may not have informed anyone but his home country and may likely not hire an agent.

Samuels is currently projected by as the #23 pick in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft.  For the kid's sake, I just hope he is 'testing the waters' and withdrawls his name by the May 8th deadline.

And the First Team Louisville will Face in Yum! Arena Will be...

Butler. The Cardinals will open up their new arena with their first game coming against the National Champion runners-up. Duke was rumored to be the team Pitino wanted to play but since they didn't get the Champs, they went after the next best thing. This will (not) be an epic match up.

Marquis Teague to Kentucky... for at least today

The Larry Vaught of Danville's Advocate-Messenger is siting "sources" saying that Marquis Teague will be a Cat. "Sources" are known for two things: being right and being wrong... so take this for what it's worth.

With the way things have bounced from Louisville to Kentucky back to Louisville, I can only guess that the "back to Kentucky" could be true and even another "Back to Louisville" might be in order. Heck, the kid still can't sign a LOI until November so we could be in this mess for a while.

The Next Pieces to the Puzzle: Louisville Edition

Little Brother will never be as cool as big brother.

Little Brother has had it rough the past couple of months. They have a coach embroiled in an unbasketball related scandal, they crawled into the tournament only to be ousted in the first round (first time for a Pitino team) by a mediocre California team, and they are losing recruits left and right.

The good news: Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith are gone. They are moving into a wonderful new arena. Coach Pitino got a 4 year contract extension despite publicly humiliating his employer, so the Cards have him (or are stuck with him, however you want to view it) until 2017.

Who does Louisville have replacing their seniors:

Loss: Edgar Sosa PG- Sosa gained the love of Louisville fans for one thing and one thing only: the three point shot at the end of the game in Michael Porter's grill to beat a very poor Kentucky team (except Patterson and Meeks). Other than that, Sosa's departure will not be met with any tears. His inconsistent "Me-First" play was detrimental to the team. Cards fans won't miss the ill-advised three point bricks and his sloppy interior passing. Sosa showed flashes of being good at times but he could never put more than one or two games together. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Taking Place: Peyton Siva PG- Siva's got the skills to pay the bills. He is quick and has play making abilities that Sosa never possessed. He is a terrific ball handler and a great assist man. He needs to improve on his outside shooting and his three point shot. Look for Siva to make some big strides this year.

Loss: "Uncle" Jerry Smith SG- If you want to define "flop" then look at Jerry Smith. Smith had the luxury of players like Andre McGee and Terrence Williams taking pressure off of him and allowing him to make some big shots and score, much like Taquan Dean and Francisco Garcia. Once Garcia left, Dean fell into oblivion and Smith did as well. This year he did not have that luxury and was looked upon as a senior leader and failed miserably. His off the court escapades and baby-mama drama almost overshadowed an abysmal offensive performance. His one bright spot was his defense. If he received any special accolades it would be for his trash-talking ability. Unless you look at when he started mouthing to John Wall and then Wall took him to school for six straight points. I just had to throw that in there.

Taking Place: Preston Kowles SG- Knowles is a solid guard that has three point ability. He is athletic but lacks the ability to create his own offense. He and Siva will make a decent guard duo for the Cards this coming year. He lacks the defense that Smith added but he can be a better scorer. Siva and Knowles are the pair that many Cards fans have wanted dating back to last season. Can't say I blame them.

Loss: Reginald Delk SG/SF- Not much to say about Tony's nephew. He could hit the three at times but was an unspectacular player. He added offense but was streaky and inconsistent.

Taking Place: Rakeem Buckles PF- This is not set in stone. My opinion is that Pitino will move Jared Swopshire to small forward and Rakeem Buckles will start at power forward. Buckles has extreme athletic ability and was the only Louisville player to show up in the last game against California. He is a hard worker but his shooting is a big question mark.

Cardinals on the recruiting front:

Not much to report here. Most of what is about to be typed has already been on this website. Justin Coleman may not be eligible, Elisha Justice is going to be a walk-on, Russ Smith is, well, Russ Smith, and center Gorgui Dieng has yet to commit. The Cards have a lot of work to do in order to build a decent recruiting class. If they fail this year to recruit, the 2011 prospects are looking bleak as well. Many are reporting that the jewel to Pitino's 2011 class, Marquis Teague, is going to rival Kentucky. 5 star recruit Michael Chandler has opened his recruiting back up which is the polite way of saying, "I don't think I want to play for you any longer." Ouch.

2010's possible starting 5: Peyton Siva (PG/S), Preston Knowles (Se/SG), Rakeem Buckles (PF/S), Jared Swopshire (SF/J), Samardo Samuels (C/J)

There you have it Cards fans. Ricky P has a lot to do this off season and it doesn't all involve a courtroom. This team will have a great deal of experience. As long as Pitino does not make any grandiose claims (see Marra comment) like he did about how last year's team had experience and talent and then said at the end of the season that they lacked experience and talent. What? How can you start three seniors and two sophomores and lack experience? This year's team will have even more experience and will be more talented in the PG and PF positions. Let's see if they can reach their potential.