Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Louisville Fans find Comfort in the arms of Elisha Justice

It's makeout time in the YUMMMMMYYYY!!!! Center...and Rick likes it angry.

Right now it is tough being a Louisville basketball fan. Losing to Morehead State in the first round of the NCAA's, never beating Kentucky at anything, Rick Pitino talking about retiring, assistant coaches bailing left and right, recruits bailing left and right, and the NCAA won't let Rick and his boys play the Puerto Rican National Team; all of these things weigh a fan down like the boulder that smashed James Franco's arm.

Louisville fans have found refuge in the arms of former walk-on and current scholarship player Elisha Justice. It doesn't matter that Justice blew the Morehead State game by missing key free throws; Elisha is currently in a battle to win the sexiest male athlete. His current opponent is soccer "star" Carlos Bocanegra. Check out the name of the blog I just linked and it says it all. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Louisville fans haven't won anything of importance since going to the Final Four in 2004. Right now any win matters. Even if it takes grown men voting for a shirtless 19 year old kid, it's a victory. Their hopes rest in the sexiness of a kid that Rick Pitino calls "Bullet".

Louisville fans, you write your own material. I just repeat it.

Louisville Fans Go Twitter Crazy on Kevin Ware and Lose Another Recruit

Louisville fans LOVE to say that Kentucky fans are overzealous, over hyped, uber-emotional, die hard nutcases. In some cases we are, but that doesn't hide the fact that they are as well. Even though they try and take the high road and claim that they are everything a good fan should be, they continue to remove any doubt that they are pompous asses like anybody else.

Take the reaction that Louisville fans had since Kevin Ware chose to go to Central Florida. These reactions (I hate linking KSR) have forced Ware to not attend the Derby City Classic in Louisville because of, "All of them hostile fans. A lot of negative stuff has been tweeted to me so I don't want to deal with that."

It's gotten so bad that Kevin Ware has deleted his Twitter account due to the crazy ass Louisville fans. I wonder if Dan Owens is going to blast this kid for not attending his precious game like he did Marquis Teague, Kyle Wiltjer, Anthony Davis and Michael Gilchrist?

And the Cards just lost another recruit, so Negus Webster-Chan's Twitter beware! Webster-Chan is a three-star small forward from Huntington, West Virginia (like Patrick Patterson and Gurgui Dieng). He was committed to the Cards but has since opened up his recruiting because of the clusterfudge that is the UofL coaching staff at the moment.

In two days Rick Pitino has lost Kevin Ware (whom he personally visited), Negus Webster-Chan and has Tony Woods wavering. I think Rodney Purvis will be the next to drop out.

The sentiment around the Cardinal blogs is that "we are a football school again" and "how many more weeks until football", and "I can't wait to see what Charlie Strong has ready". They are pretty excited about going 7-6 last year.

Doron Lamb is returning and Knight has made his Decision

This is a good news/I have no freakin' clue scenario.

First up, let's talk about what we know for sure. Doron Lamb has officially announced through the University of Kentucky that he is bringing his 12 points per game and his swagger back for another run to the Final Four.

To dispel the myth that John Calipari wants to shuttle all of these freshmen off to the NBA, here i what he had to say: "Not only does he (Lamb) gain another year of maturity and school work, but he now has the chance to put in the extra work to elevate his game. I'm excited to have him back." Me too. I have my Three Goggles waiting for next season.

And now on to what we don't know. Kind of. There is one thing that we do know for sure and that is that Brandon Knight has made a decision. His mother was interviewed and she refused to give up the goods, stating "It's not for me to announce". Oh Boy.

Whatever his decision is it seems that it is going to be definite. I think he will either say he is coming back to school or he is entering the NBA draft and hiring an agent. With top 10 draft picks deciding to stay in school, Knight has rocketed up to the #5 projected player in the draft. It will be tough for him to go that high next year.

Whatever his decision he will be supported by the fans. An announcement will probably be made tomorrow or Thursday.

And Terrence Jones still has not indicated what he is doing at all.

Update: No, not the kind of update where I tell you Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones are coming back. Here is what Doron said about returning to UK:

"With the guys we have coming in next year, I know we have the talent to make another run at a national title. I want to help bring a National Champinoshipt back to Big Blue Nation because I know they have been waiting too long. I've enjoyed my time at Kentucky, playing for coach Cal and his staff and I'm not ready for it to end."

This kid gets it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

2 Pat's Words of Wisdom: News and Notes

There is a ton to get to. No dilly dallying"

  • If you haven't heard by now, Bob Knight is a flippin' moron and everyone knows it. Knight said that 5 UK players that went to the NBA were not attending classes during the NCAA tournament last year. Hmmmm....That's funny because Patrick Patterson graduated as a junior and John Wall ended the year with a 3.4 GPA. Go Figure!

  • Speaking of the Legend of Patterson, 2 Pat was a busy man on Twitter today. Patterson Tweeted this to Bob Knight and then later added these words of wisdom to Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight: "Stay, win a championship and then think about putting your name in the draft." God Bless you Patrick. I think it is hilarious that Patterson cussed at Bob Knight and then said "Pardon My French".

  • Terrence Jones was in Portland this weekend to discuss his decision with his family. No word at all on him or Knight.

  • Want some Louisville Cardinal bad news? I knew you did! 1). Rick Pitino cannot take his team to scrimmage the Puerto Rican National team this summer because Puerto Rico is a part of the United States (they vote and pay taxes). So that essentially means that they would be scrimmaging an American pro team. You think a guy like RP would research that. Somebody skipped Geography and Current U.S. Policy class. 2). The Cards desperately wanted former Tennessee guard Kevin Ware. Ware decided to go to....Central Florida. Looks like the guys down at UCF enjoy punking the Cards as much as Uk enjoys punking them and Washington. DeMarcus Smith anyone? 3). Woman Beater/Spine Destroyer Tony Woods is now rethinking becoming a Card. Apparently the crap that Pitino and the rest of his flunkies are into makes cracking spines look like child's play!

  • But seriously, these players are fleeing Duh Ville like rats fleeing a sinking ship because of the exit of recruiter Tim Fuller. You see, John Calipari is UK recruiting. He is the main reason that the Cats get the caliber of players they do. Pitino doesn't have that clout. He needs a guy like Fuller to convice players to go to UofL.

  • Anthony Davis KILLED IT at the Jordan Brand Classic by putting up 29 points and 11 rebounds and getting the MVP. One of the four Kentucky recruits have received the MVP in all of the major All-American high school games.

  • Harrison Barnes is for sure returning to UNC. They are going to be VERY good next year. All we need is Knight or Jones. Just one.

Thats it for now. I think. Stay Tuned for more Updates as they roll in!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Terrence Jones: Another Derby Decision

It's Derby time in the Bluegrass. That means if the sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home during the first Saturday in May, sundresses and juleps will be present along with the smile on my face to welcome them. I hope to find my butt on a blanket, a betting slip in my pocket, a program curled in my fist, pleasantries welcoming the predetermined horse to the glue factory or winners circle, while I am joined by others in the ruckus third turn Derby crowd of Churchill Downs as I do every year.

But before I ever bask in the glory of good times yet to be had, I must remember those prior experiences. Looking back to last year, where I was posted in the parking lot of Churchill shaded by the twin spires and an awning of some road tripping college guys' RV, I remember the heart ache that was bestowed upon me by future Cat Terrence Jones.

Scene: It was the Friday before the Kentucky Derby - Oaks Day as it is called in these parts. The sun was hot, but women hotter. The alcohol pouring, but not a drop in the sky and there was the Terrence Jones saga about to come to a conclusion. We'd blogged about it for weeks and on that Friday, Jones chose to select purple hat with a W on the front instead of the blue one with a K. A mistake he instantly regretted and recanted weeks later only to choose Kentucky, but not before my heart sank and Oaks day spoiled.

This year, I yeild time to Terrence to spoil another spring day. However, I do not have to turn over my Oaks nor my Derby. Assuming Jones decides to "Test the NBA waters" as most kids do these days, he could make the decision to remain in the draft or return to Kentucky for his sophomore season on the Sunday after Derby. This is good news either way for those Kentucky fans in enemy territory of Louisville. While last year my lovely day at the track soured quickly and I worried that Boogiewoogie was going to commit Harrycarry - this year I can recover from my drinking on my couch and if the decision comes that he leaves, I probably wont feel much worse as I do with my upset, beer filled, bloated stomach. If the decision is to return to school, at least I will have something to comfort my uneasiness

So take heart Kentucky fans, your Derby and Oaks are safe. Enjoy your Friday and Saturday and let the horses satisfy the thirst for excitement, but let Jones be the reason to drink again Sunday - good or bad.

The New Cats at the Jordan brand Classic Speak to BBN

Check out what Marquis Teague says at about the 30 second mark. It's an accident but it's still pretty funny.

Anthony Davis is excited to ball with his "brothers" that are joining him at UK. Davis makes a bold but awesome prediction about banner #8.

Michael Gilchrist can't wait to get to UK and experience the fans. He also states that he has a bond with his fellow freshmen and says that if Knight and Jones come back that their team will be "scary". He wants them to come back to win championships. Plural.

Kyle Wiltjer thanks the BBN fans for the already great support. He is ready to get to Lexington and start working hard.

I know Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight read my posts everyday. Please come back. It will be epic.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Knight and Jones are Still Deciding

Still nothing on the Brandon Knight/Terrence Jones decisions. The longer it takes, the better I feel. At this point I fully expect both individuals to put their names in the draft but not hire an agent. The only question will be whether or not they keep it there.

Having just one of these guys come back would put, in my opinion, the Cats over the edge as far as talent and the favorites to win it all. Both coming back would be like having a Harlem Globe Trotters team against whatever no name exhibition team they are facing that day.

The only rumor going on right now is that John Calipari allegedly said that we should know something by the end of this week.

And don't forget Liggins. He is also considering his NBA options. But I am more confident that DeAndre will return to befuddle his opponents next year.

Louisville Basketball Coaching Carousel: News and Notes

The King of Underperforming

I know it's early in the morning but there is a lot to talk about. Let's start this fire:

  • There is a lot going on dealing with the hilarity and absurdity that is Louisville basketball. Unfortunately it will take up most of this post. First of, Rick Pitino told Terry Meiners that he almost retired after the end of this season but thinks he has 3-5 years left and would like to get a Final Four before he steps down. Keep dreaming Rick. I doubt the Dirty Birds make it to a Final Four in that time span but he can hope. The surprising thing about all of this is that Terry Meiners still wants anything to do with Rick Pitino or UofL.

  • So who will take over for Pitino when he leaves? It certainly won't be son Richard Pitino, Jr. Allegedly. RPJ, as we affectionately call him here at Sportsthat, is returning to the Cardinal coaching staff (more on that in a minute). Allegedly. He has been at Florida for the past few years due to his father shuttling him out of town because of the uncertainty of the Karen Sypher situation. Now, Pitino wants him back from Billy Donovan's staff. Dononvan went on record and said that there would be a coach in waiting situation for Richard at UofL. AD/Hugo Chavez wannabe Tom Jurich then said that a coach in waiting system "is not how he operates". The way he operates is that he usually sends about 10 guys to his coaching choice, drugs him, throws him in a van and forces him to take the job by hours of brainwashing and torturing. How do you think he got a guy the caliber of Charlie Strong to coach there?

  • Two UofL assistant coaches have departed. The first of which is former UK player and all time Pitino Suck Up Steve Masielllo. Mini-Rick has taken a job as the head coach of Manhattan.

  • The other departure is Uber-Recruiter Tim Fuller. Fuller is credited with getting stand-out 2012 point guard Rodney Purvis. Fuller is going to Missouri (?) to lend his talents to the Tigers. Many are speculating that Purvis may look around at other teams due to the departure of the coach that heavily recruited him. Many Louisville fans are crying that Fuller "breached his cotract" and that the university to sue him (comments section). Listen up: Your program isn't that great. Coaches are not knocking down the doors to get there. Cardinal fans are some of the most delusional/whiny people on the planet. As for Purvis, we may have another Marquis Teague situation.

  • Terrence Jennings is going to enter his name in the draft but not hire an agent. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! It's nice to start the morning off with a laugh.

  • The Baseball Cats beat the Baseball cards 3-2 Tuesday night. Besides soccer, and who cares about soccer, is there anything that the Louisville men's athletic department can defeat the Kentucky Men's athletic department at? The Cats have this on lock down. Seriously, why be a Louisville fan?

  • Here is some audio on the Florida basketball players arrest. It's hilarious.

  • John Calipari really seems to be pushing his players to stay. He said he encouraged Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins to enter their names in the draft but to not hire an agent. He seems to really think the lockout is going to happen and that the players should stay at UK. Let's hope they listen.

  • Calipari is going to Alabama today in order to make sure all of his bases are covered by talking to 2011 sharp shooter Trevor Lacey. John Calipari is the hardest working man in college basketball.

And there we have it. Have a good day, stay out of trouble and check back later.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Florida Basketball, Busted on Breakins

America's dumbest criminals or cops? I'm not sure but according to a Florida news station, Florida Basketball players Erik Murphy and Cody Larson and a manager Joshua Adel were arrested and the audio from a phone call inside the cop care is hilarious and sad as two of the accused talk the third into returning to the scene, talk about Gainesville police giving preferential treatment, snitching out those who gave the underage players alcohol, and come up with other outlandish Law and Order type stories to try and avoid getting out of trouble.

An excerpt from firstcoastnews.com
"Bro, do you know how f*** I am because of y'all dumb m***** f*******," Adel tells Murphy in the police car. "I'm fired. Like, you'll have another shot. I'm done. I have no second shot, bro."

"I don't have a second shot either," Murphy replies.

"And I told y'all to stop doing that," Adel says, referring to car breakins. "You did that."

"I know," Murphy says.

Murphy and Larson are charged with felony burglary while Adel faces a charge of principal to burglary. Police say Adel acted as a lookout.

"I'm getting you out of it," Murphy tells Adel.

"F*** that man," Adel says. "It doesn't matter. My job was supposed to, I'm supposed to be looking after y'all. And y'all are f****** going into f****** cars that I said not to."
Florida coach Billy Donovan has suspended all three pending the outcome of the investigation.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Double Standard: News and Notes

We can all not so fondly remember last year when many media outlets were hooping and hollering about what was going on at Kentucky at the end of the basketball season. Daniel Orton quit going to school and five players (four freshmen) were leaving college early for the draft. Coach Cal was ruining college basketball, UK was to blame for all the ills of college sports, blah, blah, blah...

What Orton did was inexcusable and he should have been criticized. Orton has since apologized and thanked the fans for their support. He even went as far as showing up to one of Kentucky's games and took time to talk to the players after the game. He even stated that he maybe regrets his decision to leave early.

We now have a situation going on in Kansas that was similar to what happened at Kentucky last season. But all I hear is the chirping of crickets coming from the national media. Kansas juniors Marquis and Marquief Morris declared for the draft and have not attended classes since the loss to VCU. Freshman point guard Josh Selby has also missed class because he is working out for NBA scouts in Las Vegas and even skipped out on the team's year ending banquet.

And let us not forget that Selby was ruled ineligible to play early in the season because he had accepted gifts and money for playing basketball in high school.

So where is the criticism of Bill Self? Where are the pundits claiming that Kansas is the ruination of all things good in the NCAA? Kansas has had three students drop out of school, not just one, and nary a word has been said about it. The double standard is unreal.

News and Notes:

  • Remember Trevor Lacey? The two time Alabama Mr. Basketball is going to make his decision about where he wants to go to school next season after he plays in the Derby City Classic. The experts say that he is Kentucky bound if Brandon Knight decides to leave. Sorry Trevor, I know you are good and all, but I know what Knight can do as a Wildcat right now.

  • The Baseball Cats are playing the Baseball Cardinals today in Louisville. The Cats are 16-17 while the Cards are a kind of better 20-11. Not many people (including me) care about college baseball, but it's always fun when these two schools play. Go cats.

  • Kemba Walker is entering the draft. Walker will be finished with his degree by the end of the spring, so he has no real reason to return. I hate the kid but damn it I respect him.

  • The rumor is that Harrison Barnes is leaning towards staying at North Carolina, joining Tyler Zeller and John Henson as returning Tar Heels that could have gone pro. Word is that Barnes is nervous about the lockout and Roy Williams is collecting information for him. If UNC returns all of their players they and Kentucky will be #1 and #2 on everybody's preseason lists. If UK returns everybody they should be the unanimous preseason #1.

  • Speaking of that, John Calipari had another meeting with Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight yesterday. He told Andy Katz that the decision is up to them but that he reminded them of the lockout that seems almost for certain in the NBA.

  • The NBA lockout has already watered down what would have been a decent draft. With Zeller, Henson, Perry Jones, Jared Sullinger and possibly Harrison Barnes all electing to stay in school, it almost seems a definite that the lockout has something to do with their decisions. Right now it seems that Kyrie Irving and Josh Selby are the only Freshmen that are bucking the trend. Let's hope that Knight and Jones follow in the footsteps of Barnes and Sullinger.

That's all for now. Check back later and tomorrow for more with your two (and only) favorite bloggers on Sportsthat!

Jimmer - Kicked off campus

On the heals of winning the Naismith award, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel and taking his team to the Sweet 16, Jimmer Fredette has now been asked to take the remainder of his classes at BYU online.

The equivalent of Boogiewoogie seeing Justin Beiber walking through Indiana, Fredette was stopped everywhere in Provo, Utah and according to his father it was 'disruptive'.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

George Strait and Reba and the Yummmmmyyyy!!!! Center: News and Notes

Last night was my first trip to the Yum! Center and it was pretty unforgettable in some instances. I was there for the George Strait and Reba McEntire concert (thanks to Mrs. Boogiewoogie). The forgettable part was George Strait's performance. I am not a fan of country music and his "show" reinforced that feeling 10 fold. He stood on the stage and played boring song after boring song, while the crowd remained seated for 80% of the show and I actually saw people yawning. All he did was stare into the camera that projected his image on the giant HD screens in the building and wink at it from time to time. It was pure hell.

I do have to admit that Reba was quite the opposite. She had energy, she danced and seemed generally happy to be there. She was a true show-woman and I respect her singing ability and her knack for getting the crowd involved. The whole place was on it's collective feet, belting out the words to "Fancy" as Reba closed out her show. I may have even sang a line or two. Maybe.

Onto the sports stuff from the show:

  • I rarely disagree with my wife or refuse to do anything sensible shes asks me to do. I refused to go walk through the Cardinal Walk of Honor with her. She grabbed my hand and I physically pulled away. She didn't go either.

  • I was wearing my UK Final Four shirt for the show.

  • There was a ton of UK blue there, much more than Cardinal red. This is the second time this occured this year. With about 5 minutes left of the Kentucky/Louisville game there were WAY more UK fans left sitting in the stands. There were also a good amount at the floor seats throughout.

  • Tom Jurich had his Gestapo roaming the building trying to figure out how so many UK fans had tickets to an event at the Yum! Center.

  • I was fascinated at the lack of banners hanging from the cieling in the arena. They have a banner commemorating how many times they made it to the NCAA tournament. I'm not making that up.

  • As the crowd was leaving at the end of the show there was a large contingent of UK fans doing the C-A-T-S, CATS! CATS! CATS! chant all throughout the building. I don't think Cards fans can pull off the same stunt in Rupp Arena for any type of event.

  • Some random lady with a UK Final Four t-shirt tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I was Josh Harrellson. I am shorter and wider than Jorts, but I guess I can see a slight resemblence. She looked hurt when I informed her that I was indeed not Josh.

Now some more News and Notes:

That's about all for now partners. Enjoy y'alls weekend, ya hear.

UK Players Dominate another All-Star Game

If you were a wrestling fan in the late 90's then you know all about the Nation of Domination. And yes, that is The Rock as Rocky Maivia.

Just like the McDonald's All American game, the Nike Hoops Summit game was highlighted by four players coming to Kentucky next year.

Anthony Davis has emerged as the #1 recruit according to the ESPN Top 100. Davis had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Not to be outdone, Michael Girchrist also chipped in 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 blocks. It appears that these two players will be double-doubles waiting to happen every night.

The other two of UK's four recruits, Kyle Wiltjer and Marquis Teague, scored 12 and 6 points respectively.

The updated rankings have the Cats recruits as #1, #3, #7 and #18. The only school close to touching UK in the number of top 20 recruits is Syracuse with two: #19 and #20. The highly touted Cards class has two in the top 30, Wayne Blackshear at #26 and Chane Behanan and #27. They also have #55 Zach Price. I guess that's ok if you don't like going to Final Fours and bowing out in the first round of the tournament on a consistent basis.

Here is a little something to wet your whistle while looking forward to next season:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Player Confiedence Level

The more I read about the possibility of UK players leaping to the draft, the more I think wbout what we could have coming back. I have comprised the percentage that I feel comfortable that each player is coming back. How did I come up with my comfortability rankings? Let'e just say I have scanned the Internet, the blogs and used my Gut Feeling. Much like the Gut Feeling that led George W. Bush to Iraq.

Brandon Knight- 25% comfortable with his return. If there was one player on this year's team that I would say that we needed to come back for a serious title run, it's Knight. He is still attending class (all UK players are at this time) but his mother said he is still 50/50. Right now Knight is #8 on ESPN as far as his draft stock. His clutch performances in the tournament vaulted him about 8 to 10 spots. I don't think he would play point in the NBA, but he could be a scoring 2 guard with amazing ball handling skills. I just hope the fact that he will be coming in as a junior next year gives him second thoughts.

Terrence Jones- 10% comfortable with his return. Jones' aunt says that he us still weighing his option. I believe that Jones benefits the most to go early with Jared Sullinger, John Henson and Tyler Zeller deciding to stay in college. I think this ups his draft status. But to throw a wrench in the works the Morris twins from Kansas have decided to enter their names but Jones will be a better pick up. There is a lack of good big men in the draft this season. Jones could see his status go up because of it.

Doron Lamb- 70% comfortable with his return. It was rumored at the start of the season that Lamb wanted to go to the NBA more than any other freshman at UK. The problem is that this draft is guard heavy, he played spotty at times and he needs to work on his overall skills package. Lamb is a great shooter and has a knack for getting to the basket. His dribbling is suspect and there isn't a great need for a guy like him right now. His father says that his son is returning and could benefit greatly with one more year under Calipari. Lamb could be a top 10 pick next season.

Darius Miller- 95% comfortable with his return. There was a rumor that Miller may just put his name in the draft to satisfy his curiosity, his father admitted as much. But I doubt Miller is even in the second round at this point. Despite his strong finish to the season he was very shaky through the first Ole Miss game. He ended up being SEC tournament MVP and could be a first team All SEC performer if he continues to develop.

DeAndre Liggins- 65% comfortable with his return. The only reason that this number is so low is Liggins' family situation. I don't think he is ready for the next leve. His defense is stellar and his offense has really picked up, but the NBA is more interested in scorers than defenders. Don't believe me? Watch five minutes of an NAB game, then come talk to me. If Liggins sees his name early second round I think he is gone, but I doubt that will be an issue. I understand his decision either way.

Enes Kanter- The big man will be a top 5 draft pick. Despite the fact that he promised to return for his sophomore year, the NCAA banned him for life. I can't wait to see what he does in the NBA. I am an Enes fan for life. The NCAA is bogus.

With all that, here is what I think the starting line up will be next season:

Point- Marquis Teauge

Shooting Guard- Doron Lamb

Small Forward- Michael Gilchrist

Power Forward- Darius Miller

Center- Anthony Davis

Bench: DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, Eloy Vargas, Jon Hood, Stacey Poole, Jarrod Polson.

If everybody comes back:

Point-Marquis Teague

Shooting Guard- Brandon Knight

Small Forward-Michael Gilchrist

Power Forward- Terrence Jones

Center- Anthony Davis

Bench: Darius Miller, DeAndre Liggins, Doron Lamb, Eloy Vargas, Kyle Wiltjer, Jon Hood, Stacey Poole, Jarrod Polson.

I can dream, right?

NBA/Cal Rumor #1: Calipari to the Knicks

In the forever running story of John Calipari to the NBA, his name is now circling the New York Knicks. The Knicks who hired Mike D'Antoni from Phoenix just a few years ago and are reluctant to resign GM Donnie Walsh's $5 million option for next season, would be looking at having Calipari as coach and GM.

But it's just rumors as the author said:

Do I have confirmation on this? No. I unsuccessfully reached out to Calipari and left a message.

Does it make sense? Yes, especially in view of Dolan's disinclination to do right by Walsh.
We're talking about a marquee college coach fresh from another Final Four, who owns pro experience (some of it good with the Nets), is an outstanding recruiter (though the NBA's salary cap may limit that impact), and relates remarkably well with young black players.
We heard this line before when Cal was mentioned to be heading to Chicago in a Worldwide William Wesley package that included Lebron James. That rumor proved to be false and vastly overblown and you should get used to it Cats fans, it probably won't even be the last time this off season. Calipari has connections, it is how he gets the players he gets, but it's also why his name will be constantly thrown out by NBA teams (and rival recruiting coaches).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Key Dates for Kentucky Offseason

An' Here I go again on my own.
Goin' down the only road I've ever known
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
I've made up my mind.
I aint waistin no more time.

Here we go again... The 2011 season comes to a wrap on an amazing NCAA Tournament run placing Calipari's second season in the Final Four and 3rd in the final standings. What does that leave? Well, it leaves next year of course.

As a UK fan, the basketball season is a year round thing. Between NBA Draft questions, recruiting, summer games, individual practices, players coming to campus, before the first tip (sadly it won't be in Canada in August this year) in November we'll know more about the 2012 Cats than a vast majority of 'fans' will know about their teams in March .

So here's a run down of the upcoming big dates and you UK summer calendar:
April 13th - First day of spring signing period
April 24th - Deadline for early entries to declare for NBA Draft
May 8th - Deadline to remove name from NBA Draft
May 18th - Final signing day for spring signing period
June 23rd - 2011 NBA Draft
October 14th - Big Blue Madness

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Worst. Game. Ever. And other News and Notes.

The national championship game between Butler and UConn could have possibly the worst college basketball game ever played in the history of the world. It was boring, low scoring and just plain sloppy. I'm not trying to take anything away from Uconn's title, but my 7th grade St. Polycarp City Championship team could have beaten Butler last night. I'm going to go ahead and say that I hope Butler never makes it to another title game again. They suck and I am tired of hearing about them. That was probably a bit of an overreaction due to the fact that Kentucky could have beat either one of those teams last night. And as a matter of fact Louisville did beat both of those teams. And that shows how crummy of a year it was for the NCAA National Championship.

  • Kentucky finished #3 in the polls behind UConn and Butler. The Cardinals finished 22nd. They probably should have been more like #3o.

  • Dick Vitale picked his top 6 for next season and the Cats came in at #2. Louisville checks in at #6 behind the power of Tony Woods' spine cracking ability.

  • Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie are both turning pro. The Georgia superstars both announced as much today. Thompkins signed with an agent and Leslie did not. This crushes the chance of Georgia making any noise next year.

  • The Big East finally won a basketball championship. I still say they had no business getting 11 teams in and they were overrated. Marquette, Cincinnati and Georgetown had no business being in that tournament.

That's all for now. I'm in a horrible mood if you can't tell. I promise to be happier tomorrow. Maybe.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer are Approaching

As many of you know, this blog is 90% dedicated to University of Kentucky basketball and football. The other 10% of it is comprised of making fun of UofL and other sports of interest.

Now that UK basketball and football are in their off seasons, what shall we discuss? This blog used to dedicate more time to pro sports news and I guess that is what is going to happen. But here is a look at what you can expect from us while this seemingly endless hiatus of sports we love continues:

  • First and foremost we will be covering the decisions of UK players and their return or departure. This is an ongoing saga that keeps us on pins and needles. Much like the soap operas that Monster Mash loves.

  • Recruiting gives us plenty of things to speculate and crow about. Despite the seasons not actually being in session, we can always look at who is coming and the dominance of John Calipari as a recruiter.

  • UK baseball is going to be decent this year. I guess we can check up on them from time to time. The UK/UofL baseball games are always an exciting fare.

  • Last year gave us the hairbrush incident involving Preston Knowles, the year before that gave us the shocking news of Terrence Jennings and Uncle Jerry Smith's brush with the Indiana police. There is no telling which UofL basketball player will give us all something to laugh at. My money is on Mike Marra in some type of meth bust. You hear it here first!

  • Hopefully Monster Mash will give us a real time diary of his trip to Thailand this summer.

  • The MLB? I guess we can cover it from time to time. If we have to...

  • The NBA Playoffs are always 1,000 times more fun to watch than the regular season. This gives us something interesting to talk about.

  • No Karen Sypher trial this summer. Damn it all!!!

  • NFL lockout updates should take up some time.

  • The misadventures of the Sportsthat crew attending dollar beer nights at the Louisville Bats games. I would especially like T-Ferg to cover this.

And there you have it. Some things that should definitely keep your interest going for the summer months.

The Waiting Game

The alternative picture that I chose for this is a tad inappropriate. If you really want to see it, go here. I recommend that you do. Just sayin'.

And here it comes: The waiting game. This has become a new tradition in the last two years concerning Kentucky basketball. We wait and see which players decide to stay and which players decide to test the NBA waters.

Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb and most recently DeAndre Liggins have all expressed possible plans to jump to the NBA. Liggins recently stated that he wants to meet with his family in order to discuss rather or not it would be a good decision to go pro. I hope Liggins does what is best for him. He comes from a tough back round and the money would be good for his family, but one more year at the college level could do wonders for his draft status.

The wild card this year is the possibility of an NBA lockout. If some of these guys decide to go pro and the lockout does happen, they would be stuck in limbo. They would not be playing in the NBA and they would not be playing in college. They would be hanging out, thinking of what might have been.

The NBA lockout is a much more drastic situation than the NFL lockout due to the fact that 17 NBA teams are in the hole. Owners are begging for a hard salary cap and the players want to hear nothing of it. The Bleacher Report has a nice article about it and explains it with much better detail than I can. Where the NFL is making money and fighting about how to spend it, the NBA is losing money with some franchises and trying to figure out how to save them. The fighting between the owners and the players could become brutal because the players are not going to want to take salary cuts, which is being floated as the best solution to the problem.

The lockout could start after the 2011 NBA Finals which end in June. The deadline for college players to enter their name for the NBA draft is April 26. If they do not hire an agent, they can back out. Needless to say the players don't have a lot of time to weigh their options.

My hope is that they research the lockout and understand what the ramifications will be if a lockout does happen. The NBA will be there next year but college basketball will not if they decide to turn pro.

And then there are the always present "Calipari is going to coach at (fill in team here) next year" rumors. We just need to get used to this. As long as Cal is having success at UK he is going to be rumored to be coaching in the pros year in and year out. I don't see it for the simple fact that he got so close this year, has a ton of talent coming in and possibly some of this year's biggest stars sticking around.

It's going to an interesting ride in the next few weeks. Buckle in and check Sportsthat for updates and analysis.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weep No More My Lady

Don't cry Lindsay Lohnan. Kentucky will be back!

The hopes and dreams of Big Blue Nation were crushed last night by a one point heartbreaking loss to UConn in the Final Four. 56-55 was the final count. The Cats played hard, gave everything they had and came up one point short.

I've watched a few interviews after the game and I don't have the heart to post them. Every player was crushed. Absoulutely crushed. I felt the most sorry for Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones (besides Josh Harrellson of course). The two freshmen had to continue to answer questions about whether or not they are coming back next year. Jones looked hurt and mumbled a few words about not thinking about it right now. Knight actually got a little angry and shut down the line of questioning, telling the reporters that he isn't thinking about any "NBA stuff" now. He was focused on his teammates and what had transpired on the court.

I was definitely sad after the game. I had started watching the game at a local restaurant with some friends but decided to move to another venue because of one obnoxious UK fan that kept yelling and spouting out meaningless cheers and stats. She started the "C-A-T-S" cheer but never made it past the "C" and the "A". She was being goaded by "UConn" fans in the bar. And when I say "UConn" fans, that is code for UofL fans that were cheering against the Cats and for Kemba Walker, despite the fact that their own garbage team had exited the tournament weeks ago. I think you all know how I feel about the Dirty Bird Nation, so I will just leave it at that.

I watched the end of the game at a friends house. Afterwards we both looked at each other and made some comments about how many months it was until November, and that we had months of baseball and NASCAR to endure before football season started. We then started talking about how awesome of a season this truly was. And then my mood started to pick up.

I realized that after all of the adversity this team had been through; the loss of Enes Kanter, a short bench, close losses on the road against inferior teams, a questionable #4 seed despite a SEC championship, and then, despite all of that, a trip to the Final Four and a chance at a title. All of the positive memories of this team flooded my mind. I'd like to brighten your day with them:

  • The transformation from bench guy to legit starting center by Josh Harrellson, aka Jorts, aka the Sullinger Slayer. He endeared himself to UK fans and we loved him for his hard work and dedication.

  • The evolution of Brandon Knight from a shooter first to a point guard that looks to run the team before scoring. Knight looked lost in Maui at times. He gradually turned into a floor general and a stone cold assassin by the seasons end.

  • Terrence Jones also made a major change. He went from "Selfish Motherfu**er" to a player that focused more on rebounding, passing, blocking and defending besides his own scoring.

  • The emergence of Darius Miller is on the same level as what happened to Jorts in my opinion. Many will remember Miller passing up a three to win the game against Ole Miss. That has been overshadowed by Miller as a player with confidence who is no longer afraid to take the shot. Darius ended up being the MVP of the SEC tournament.

  • DeAndre Liggins became clutch and I don't know when that happened. Liggins smothered opponents on the defensive end and near the end of the season he was nailing shots at the end of games to put the Cats in position to win. He almost did it again by taking a deep three down by two last night and he was inches away from wining the game. INCHES.

I'm not sure what this team will look like next year. I am 100% sure that Liggins and Miller will be back as seniors and with a vengeance. They tasted the promised land and will be ready to go back. I'm 70% sure Lamb will return. He has stated he is coming back but things happen and the NBA draft is a sultry, seductive siren (that's called alliteration, kids). I will be comfortable when the deadline for draft declaration passes.

I have no idea what Knight and Jones are going to do. I am less sure about their thoughts as I was about the 5 guys from last year's team that left early. It seems to me that these two players truly love playing for Kentucky and that they know what they can do next year if they come back with more pieces to the puzzle.

I'm not going to think about that for a while. I'm going to enjoy the memories of this wonderful team and let the cards fall where they may. John Calipari has been at the helm for just two seasons but he has brought the Cats from the NIT to an Elite Eight and a Final Four. He has made the Commonwealth's team a contender again and we are all excited about the future.

Weep no more my lady. The Cats will be back and they are going to win it all. Soon. Very soon.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bozich and Crawford Pick the Cats

The fellas at the C-J pick the Cats. They say UConn's one man show (they don't talk about Jeremy Lamb for some reason) is not enough against the weapons and the sharp shooting of the Cats. Have I ever said any ugly things about these two? I take it all back.

Eminem, Do your Thing:

Know Your Enemy: UConn Huskies

You really didn't think I was going to jinx us and not post this, did you? So far the Cats are undefeated everytime I post Know Your Enemy. Let's keep the streak alive. I have already outlined the keys to victory against the Huskies. Let's learn a little bit more about the UK opponent. UConn Huskies: Location- Storrs, Connecticut Enrollment-30,00 Famous Alumni-Meg Ryan, Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Rebecca Lobo, Sue Bird, and Diana Taurasi. I know, athletes and that is about it. Rather boring. School Motto- "It's not hell, it's just Connecticut." Everthing You Need to Know about UConn-You can see in this Horrifying Documentary:

Things They Tell Recruits-

  • "I'm not trying to scare you but if you say "chowder" instead of "chowda", Jim Calhoun will cut off your fu**ing head. Just sayin'."

  • "Yes Jim Calhoun cheats and yes we are going to be punished by the NCAA, but haven't you seen "He Got Game"? Ray Allen was awesome in that!"

  • "Sure there are plenty of things to do in Connecticut! You can throw rocks at passing cars, climb trees, smoke a pipe, read the paper. We know how to party here."

  • "Our women's team is better than our men's team. So what. Do you think we are a bunch of girls around here? Well, ok we are but that's beside the point."

Most Famous Sports Moment- It's not their most famous but I thought this was pretty awesome:

Reasons why Kentucky will Beat Them to make it to the National Championship game-

  • Jorts, Jorts and Jorts

  • Kemba Walker is a gun and when the Huskies get behind he is going to start shooting the ball waaaaay too much.

  • John Calipari REALLY hates Jim Calhoun. He hates him more than he hates Ricky Three Stacks.

  • DeAndre Liggins is about to regulate on Shabazz Napier or whoever he wants.

  • Brandon Knight will show that he is better than Kemba Walker.

Regardless of the outcome I think this team has done way more than anybody anticipated. That being said, the Payback Cats are a different team than what UConn faced in Maui. Brandon Knight grew up, Terrence Jones is no longer the focal point of the offense, Liggins and Darius Miller have confidence and Josh Harrellson is playing like Shaq.

Kentucky is undefeated when they are avenging a loss. They will continue to be after today.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hey Cal - "What's it like to be in your first Final Four" - Gulp

CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd asked Calipari during his press conference, what it was like to be in his first Final Four.

Calipari said the reporter told him he was being facetious but was not amused, answered with, "I don't deal with that. We've been here 3 times...Those players played those games and did what they were supposed to do. I'm proud of what they've accomplished. It's been fun. It's been a good experience, and this has been a good experience."

Now that that's out of the way, I'm sure we'll never hear another jerk ask it again.

BREAKING NEWS: Rick Pitino Caught with his pants down AGAIN

In BREAKING news from the New York Times, Rick Pitino has been accused of another sex scandal. The Times is reporting that while in the studio for CBS, Ricky P was seen flirting and mingling with an intern named Jamie Bishop. Bishop, a 23 year old graduate student from Florida, was in charge of wardrobe.

According to the Times, Pitino, who was contracted out by CBS as an analyst after his UL Cardinals lost in the first round to Morehead State, had the sexual encounter late on Saturday at the Hilton near the CBS studios. Bishop met Pitino at the hotel bar for drinks before they promptly excused themselves to her room. Bishop used her cell phone to snap this picture of Pitino in his underpants before the act went down.

While no laws were broken and both parties were consenting, it's just another embarrassing blemish on a lack luster season.

Fittingly the news comes after the USA Today report that listed Rick Pitino as the highest paid coach in college basketball.

The Eve Before the Final Four: Keys to Victory

Just in case you didn't know, the Wildcats are playing in the Final four a little over 24 hours from now.

The main things the Cats need to do in order to ensure victory:

  • Contain Kemba Walker as best as they can. He is going to get his, that's inevitable, they just need to make sure he doesn't put up 50.

  • If Walker does his thing, don't let Lamb or anybody else get more than 10 points. We saw this when the Cats played Ohio State and North Carolina. Jared Sullinger had a big game, but no other OSU player did. Tyler Zeller had a big game and Harrison Barnes played ok, but the rest of UNC did not.

  • Hold the Huskies to 64 points or less. The Cats have done this in every game in the tournament so far. Their defense has been outstanding and it needs to continue.

  • Brandon Knight needs to limit turnovers and Josh Harellson needs 15 points and 8 rebounds. So far this has not been an issue.

  • Terrence Jones needs to keep doing what he is doing. And what he is doing is trading scoring for passing, rebounding, blocking and defending. Jones has morphed into more of a role player and it has been working like a charm.

  • Liggins or Miller need to score in double digits. So far one of them has in every game in the tournament.

  • John Calipari must keep his team's heads clear and focused. The killer instinct and the chip on their shoulder they have exhibited must continue to be a part of their game.

  • Guard the lane and the post. UConn is not a very good shooting team. Most of their points come from Walker, Lamb or Shabazz Napier driving into the lane. They either score, get fouled or dish it to a big man for an open look under the basket.

If these things happen, pencil the Cats into the title game.

Go Cats. #revenge