Friday, July 15, 2011

TGIF: News and Notes

We are still struggling through summer and grasping to find any relevant topics to post and discuss. The release of a the UK non-con schedule is like finding an oasis in the desert, and Monster Mash took full advantage of that yesterday.

Yet, there are still some interesting stories to get to this morning to kick off the weekend. Let's get to them:

-The big news yesterday regarding the Wildcats was the release of the non-conference schedule. And, as usual, with Cal at the helm it is packed with challenges. Kansas will be the second game of the season, St. John's has a young, talented group, the Dirty Birds will be welcomed to Rupp on New Year's Eve, and the game against North Carolina will be one of the biggest college basketball games in recent memory.

-The fact that the Louisville/Kentucky game is again on New Years Eve has some fans riled up, particularly Louisville fans. As I perused the message boards, as I am inclined to do, I see Louisville fans making ignorant statements like, "Kentucky plays the game this early because it's easier for them to win at that time in the year", and "The game should be played during the last 10 games of the season when Louisville is really on their game." Let's walk through this. Wouldn't it actually be better for Louisville to play the game before they get into the "brutal" Big East conference play? And, since when is Louisville on their game at the end of the year? Bowing out of the NCAA tourney doesn't seem like Louisville is a team to be reckoned with by regular season's end. It's just another excuse that Louisville fans make up out of thin air. Check out some of these comments at my all time favorite website, the Card Chronicle.

-Speaking of Louisville, Rick Pitino made the announcement on his website that Freshmen Wayne Blackshear and Kevin Ware have yet to make it to campus because they have yet to qualify for college. According to the spin doctor, both kids are "finishing up classes". All of the UK freshmen have been on campus and have been attending classes since the day they were able to step foot in Lexington. The funniest thing ever will be if these two scholars will not be able to play at all, especially since Blackshear is by far the best recruit Pitino has coming in. It is unlikely that will happen but there is always a chance.

-Here is a nice little write up on how Joker Phillips will be approaching his second year as the Wildcats' head coach and some praise he is giving to the young guys in the weight room.

-Here is another piece from the Courier Journal about the heavy recruitment of 6-8 power forward Perry Ellis. John Calipari and Orlando Antigua have watched every game Ellis has played between the two of them. It seems that his recruitment has been placed as the top priority over the overall #1 player in the class, Shabazz Muhammad. I trust Cal's instincts and will venture to say the is a very good reason for that. Ellis is considering Kansas, Duke and Kentucky among others.

-The NFL Lockout is coming to an end!! Reports are flying in that owners and players are close to a deal and it could be finalized as early as Tuesday. One of the key elements of the deal is a rookie wage scale. This is something that has been needed for a long time. Many veterans feel that a college kid that has not played one down in professional football should get payed more than a 5 year starter that has contributed. I couldn't agree more. Please see Jamarcus Russell for reasoning.

- And finally, nerds around the country were orgasmic last night as the final installment of the Harry Potter franchise hit theaters at midnight. Did I go and egg lines of adults dressed as wizards at movie theaters? It's a distinct possibility.

I will be back shortly with my thoughts on a debate that I heard on the radio yesterday. See ya soon kiddos.

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