Kentucky Sports Blog

Random rants from a currently displaced Kentuckian

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Rondo named to US Team

Andy Katz reports that Cats' sophomore sensation Rajon Rondo was named to the 12 man roster for the Men's Under 21 National Team. That's a great honor for Rondo, and the competition this summer can only serve to help improve his game. The US roster:

PG: Rondo, Marcus Williams (UCONN), Mardy Collins (Temple)
SG: J.J. Redick (Duke), Justin Gray (Wake), Allen Ray (Villanova), Rudy Gay (UCONN)
F: Glen "Big Baby" Davis (LSU), Taj Gray (Oklahoma), Curtis Withers (Charlotte), Terrance Roberts (Syracuse), Nick Fazekas (Nevada)

Those cut included Memphis' Darius Washington (no word if the cut was related to a pressure-packed free-throw contest), Shannon Brown (Michigan State) and Razorback Ronnie Brewer.

The US team is coached by Phil Martelli, who will be assisted by Bruiser Flint and Dennis Felton.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Are you ready for some football?


Look out now, the Cats have 3 preseason All-SEC honorees. Let's hope that Begley, Holt and Abdullah fare better than last year's honoree.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Guardian's Classic

I know a few parties who will be especially interested in this tidbit from July 12's Herald-Leader:

Kentucky will open its season Nov. 13-14 by hosting two rounds of the Guardians Classic, a 16-team tournament that includes Texas, Iowa and West Virginia. Kentucky will play South Dakota State in the first round, with Wofford and Lipscomb also playing that night in Lexington.

The winners will play the next day, and the second-round winner will travel to Kansas City, Mo., for the final two rounds on Nov. 21-22.

A clash between the Horns and Cats would contain the potential for some severe financial and emotional ramifications for myself and my partners over at H-Town Sports.

Other games of note:

- Home: UNC on 12/3, state runner-up Louisville 12/17
- Road: Kansas 1/7

If you still consider Indiana a rival, that "rivalry" gets rekindled on December 10. That means that for the second consecutive year, the United States gets treated to the Cats versus UNC, IU and Louisville on 3 consecutive Saturdays.

Midnight Madness cannot come soon enough.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Tonight's News: There's No News

The Herald-Leader is reporting that Tubby Smith has spoken to Randy and his parents about returning to UK and that the only snag is related to that darn enigma that is complying with NCAA regulations. Time is certainly of the essence; the NBDL may fold if Randy doesn't hurry up and get this resolved.

A Room with a View for Mr. Mayo

If only I had the money, connections and experience required to pull of the entreprenuerial idea mentioned over at the Sports Economist. I imagine that a one-year workout academy similar to the one mentioned in this article being instituted by IMG will be a very popular and profitable venture. Many have said that prep schools will greatly benefit from the new NBA age floor, but I would think that these "academies" would blow the prep schools out of the water. Why spend time practicing iambic pentameter when you could be working on your jumpshot?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Doyle Drivel

Gregg Doyle usually has some interesting insights in his Dribbles notebook at CBS Sportsline, but he's obviously suffering from writer's block here in the dog days of summer. His recent column about Tubby Smith and Randolph Morris reveals that Doyel is apt to resort to intellectual laziness and bandwagon hopping when he cannot come up with a creative idea for an offseason column.

Doyle writes that Tubby has an obligation to prevent Randy from returning to UK this fall in order to show that "Kentucky basketball stands for something." He lists Gerald Fitch and E-Diddy's fake-ID incident and Joe Crawford's temporary hiatus this spring as examples of Tubby's alleged law enforcement axiom (according to Doyel), "the better the player, the higher the tolerance."

What percentage of high school and college students get caught with a fake ID sometime prior to turning to 21? And I'm not condoning this act, but the proper authorities enforce the law, and Daniels and Fitch faced the legal music for their mistakes. Additionally, Tubby, who though he could likely win election in a landslide, does not currently serve as sheriff of Fayette County, and did suspend them for a game, punishment which probably pales in comparison to the "behind the scenes" consequences that the two delinquents suffered in practice. A writer as talented as Doyel who alleges to believe that Tubby's handling of this situation is unfair or shows a lack of respect or double standard is just reaching for a column in the duldrums of summer.

Joe Crawford and his family have been fairly open about the fact that his father was the motivation between his sudden migration north this past spring. Does Doyel think that Tubby should have forbidden the kid from returning to the school where apparently never wanted to leave just because he did what his dad told him to do? Give me a break.

Honestly, I'd prefer not to see Randy Morris back at Rupp Arena this fall. However, if Tubby were to follow Doyle's advice and refuse to admit Randy back to school, such behavior would result in just the "double standard" that Doyle suggests Tubby should avoid. Morris didn't break a single rule, and he didn't break a single law. He took advantage of the options afforded to him by the NCAA and NBA. Granted, he did so ignorantly, but neither Doyle nor I know who told Morris what heading into the Draft. Morris, despite his size and ability, is still just a teenage boy in a man's body. I don't think that it's crazy to speculate that Randy has no interest in returning to UK, judging by his reported actions and the silence that he's put forth on the issue. However, the best way that Tubby could conduct himself in terms of his own character, the reputation of the winningest program of all-time and for the sake of a kid like Morris is to welcome him back with open arms. Sure he screwed up, but he's a kid who made an innocent mistake that hurt no one but himself and his own pride. If Tubby decides to allow Randy back, it's not because he's a two-faced, win-at-all-costs sellout, but it's just the latest example of a man who has exuded nothing but class since taking over the UK program eight years ago.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Dunn Deal

See for our in-depth discussion and analysis of the Dunn-to-Houston rumors. I don't buy it that Dunn's as good as gone from Cincy, and I sure pray to all things holy that the actual return, should he be dealt, blows the rumored Astacio/Buchholz/Nieve return out of the water.

An interesting thread over at Redleg Nation ponders which Red(s) should be dealt as the deadline approaches. I won't repeat my comment here, but I posted what I thought at their site.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Shed a tear for Benedict Rick

According to Eric Crawford in today's Courier Journal, 6'10" UL signee Amir Johnson will likely sign with the Detroit Pistons and forfeit his eligibility to become a Card after being selected as the 56th pick in Tuesday's draft by the Eastern Conference champs. Apparently, academics were an issue as well. Next season should likely provide Darko and Amir plenty of time to brush up on their vocabularies as they take turn picking splinters out of each others' hind ends.

Story (LHL): Return of the Prodigal Son?

That's a bit of a hyperbole, but Mark Story does make a convincing case that allowing Randolph Morris to return to UK, if he complies with all of the necessary requirements to retain his eligibility, would not make Tubby Smith a sell-out or render team chemistry a disaster. While I'm not ready to make Corey Sears, Gerald Fitch or Adam Chiles' behavior the benchmark for the program, I do think that there is no credible reason for not allowing Randy back if possible. He exercised the rights, however ignorantly, that the governing rules afford him, and IF he is able to meet the NCAA's standards for eligibility, the University should let him back in the fall.

Note that I am not referring at all to the Cats' title hopes in 2006 because I believe that should be irrevelant in a situation like this. Morris did nothing that any other player could have done (Obrzut probably had similar draft chances to Randy's), and his ability level should not result in him receiving more or less lenient treatment from the athletic department.