Wildcats on the web

A look around the Internet today finds few noteworthy articles, but here are what we have.

First, the Courier-Journal provides an in-depth look at the fire that destroyed Joe Crawford's family home.  It seems that Joe and his brothers lost most of their trophies and memorabilia.  The Crawfords are currently living in a hotel, but despite the initial concern and anxiety, Crawford seems to be handling it OK:

But as the Cats prepare for the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday -- they'll face Alabama at 1 p.m. at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta -- Smith said Crawford is moving on.

"I like his attitude," Smith said yesterday on the SEC coaches' teleconference. "He's been very positive, very upbeat of late. I think he realizes, by talking to his parents, (they're saying) 'Everything's under control, son, so go ahead play your best,' and that's the way I've approached him as well."

Our hearts and prayers go out to Joe and his family.

The Lexington Herald-Leader gives us yet another "lucky Kentucky" article:

Since Jan. 13, Kentucky has beaten one team that was at full strength: last-place South Carolina. UK romped 87-49 at Columbia in January and held on for dear life against the visiting Gamecocks 95-89 in February.

Otherwise, UK's victories since mid-January came against Tennessee without Chris Lofton, Arkansas without Charles Thomas, LSU without Glen Davis and Georgia without Mike Mercer and Levi Stukes.

The Cats may continue that fortuitous trend in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. First-round opponent Alabama might play without star point guard Ronald Steele, whose season-long struggle with injuries sidelined him for both the Tide's games last week.

Gottfried continues to tell us that Steele is "day to day", and has what is described as "tendonitis" in both knees.  But even with that injury, Steele managed to kill us in Tuscaloosa.

Of course, no day would be complete without the mandatory "Tubby on the hot seat" article.  Today's selection is also from the Herald-Leader, who thinks that outside of Kentucky, the nation is not going to understand if Smith is let go:

Furthermore, for all the Internet agitation from people claiming to be UK fans saying that Smith, his NCAA title, three other Elite Eights and some kind of SEC title in eight different seasons are not up to "Kentucky standards," I don't think that's how the rest of the country is going to see it.

They'll see a coach with a national championship ring, a winning percentage at Kentucky roughly equivalent to UK's all-time winning percentage, and a reputation for being one of the more decent people in a profession where men of honor are less than abundant.

Whether it's fair or not, the nation is likely to conclude Kentucky seems awfully eager to show its first black head coach the door. That's not the kind of national publicity that the commonwealth or its flagship university need.

No, but that is exactly what is likely to happen if this slow-motion trainwreck continues.  Of course, winning a few basketball games might take some of the pressure off, too.  At this point, all we can do is hope for the best and let the process unfold.

Around the blogosphere, there are one or two articles regarding the Smith situation, but this one from Aereoperro is the most well written:

Last season and this season have been disappointing to many Kentucky fans. A combined 24 losses over two years seems unacceptably high for arguably the greatest collegiate basketball team in NCAA history. The athletic department, the coaching staff and most significantly Tubby must make adjustments to improve the performance of the team in the off-season. But the trouble that the team has suffered of late can be reversed most quickly with Tubby at the helm. A coaching change would dramatically and negatively affect the progress with recruiting high-school stars such as Patrick Paterson and Jail Lucas.

Many might not draw the same conclusion about the fastest way to fix the problem, but otherwise I think this article is on target.  Firing Smith would almost certainly have a negative impact on recruiting in the near term, and "1966" articles about UK could cool interest in the team for quite some time.  But that is all just speculation - we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

On the recruiting front, despite recent news of Patrick Patterson doing the "Gator Chomp" in Gainesville, rumors of cracks in Patrick's poker face seem to be exaggerated:

College basketball recruiting's last game of high stakes poker at the top level will have to wait until April 3 to see what Patrick Patterson is holding in his hand. The 6-8 power forward from Huntington, West Virginia is the last remaining uncommitted player in Scout.com's top 40. Everybody knows the cards he's holding but nobody knows which card he'll play when he announces.

Matt Jones at KSR has more.

That's it, for today, folks.  Slim pickings, I know, but that's about all I could dig up.  The Wildcats are getting ready for Catlanta, and I expect we'll have a lot more on that soon.

Update [2007-3-6 8:3:38 by Truzenzuzex]: Holy cow! A blast from the past, courtesy of Gregg Doyell and Coach Amex. This was an interview about the Henderson/Hansbrough incident of Sunday:

K said it was "unfortunate" what happened to Hansbrough, but it was also unfortunate for Henderson because "he is not that kind of player."

The fun began when Gregg Doyel of cbssportsline chimed in asking K how long he suspended Christian Laettner in 1992 for "stomping on" the chest of the Kentucky player during the epic regional final. Coach and writer went back and forth a little bit, with K questioning whether that should be called a "stomp." K concluded with: "After the season we'll talk about 1992. I'd rather talk about 2007 right now."

Heh. How'd I miss this one?
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