clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Midnight Madness -- in December

Great Zot!

I have an enforced hiatus from the computer thanks to an ISP malfunction for a few hours, and news comes down from on high that Alex Legion is leaving the program  -- right now!  Not only that, lots of other unsavory rumors are flying about player unhappiness and general anarchy.

My first reaction was, "Wow -- all I did was write a somewhat honest piece about leadership.  Did I bring down the Wrath of Jobu?"

I'm still scratching my head a bit, and I'm not going to link to a bunch of news, because frankly, everybody here knows more about this situation than I do right now.  The message boards are nuts, and lots of people are taking the name of Tubby Smith in vain.  Don't ask me how Smith managed to create this situation, but according to many, it is so.  I always suspected that Smith was the real force behind global warming and high gas prices.  Now, I'm sure of it, and even from Minnesota, his icy clutches have frozen our collective hearts yet again.  How is this possible?  The Wrath of Jobu, I tell you!  I'll bet he's sticking a pin in a voodoo doll of Billy Gillispie even as I write this, and sacrificing a live chicken to Jobu.

Apparently, and according to all the scuttlebutt from normally reliable sources, this is the doing of Legion's mother.  I suppose there is really not much to say about that.  Let's face it, folks, if your mother really, really, really doesn't want you to attend a school and you are an 18-year old person, there is a very good chance that you won't.  What is it that Coach Gillispie did that made her take this decision?  We will almost certainly never know the whole story, but there is too much first-hand evidence to doubt that his mother was not happy about something, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to connect the dots from there.  Update [2007-12-4 8:9:28 by Truzenzuzex]:   Matt Jones has more on this over at KSR.

At this point, it is far too late to recover this situation, we simply have to sit back and enjoy the ride.  We all had high hopes for Alex Legion, myself included.  Unfortunately, and not for the first time, we will be disappointed.  That is life, and life goes on for both the Legion family and the Big Blue Nation.

So what I would like for everyone to do now is relax, take a deep breath, and have a little faith.  We have good people in charge of our sports programs.  I have no reason at this point to blame anyone -- people get unhappy, apparently people from Michigan get unhappy with Kentucky a lot.  Maybe we should focus our recruiting on less ... sensitive parts of the country.  Just kidding, Michigan, we do truly love ya, even if your high school players seem to find it tough around here when they are freshmen.

Since Legion signed no letter of intent (he couldn't -- he signed one with Michigan and could therefore not sign one with UK), he can leave whenever he damn well pleases and serve the usual one year in residence before suiting up elsewhere.  Notice that the same is not true for any of other Kentucky's freshmen, so I rather doubt this whole rumor about other players and what not, except perhaps Jared Carter - I think we will likely see the last of him in December, if we see him at all.  That is most likely the player to be named later that people have been hearing about.  It is clear that Gillispie and he are not getting along at all, and unless I am totally misreading the situation (which is surely possible), he will not stick around to ride the pine here, and if Carter left, it would surprise exactly nobody.  Sure, I would like to see him play, but my feeling is, that ship has already sailed.

What does this mean for the program?  Well, it is a blow, no doubt about it.  It will likely send a few shock waves through our recruiting efforts, although I don't expect all that much damage for reasons I am not at liberty to disclose.  But this is a setback in a program that has been overrun with them so far this year, and it hurts.   No way to sugar-coat it, it is what it is ([editor's note, by Truzenzuzex]   "We're on an express elevator to Hell, going down!").

What we have to do is let our guys know that no matter what, we will be out there cheering for them.  We will not abandon this team or our players to a fate of recrimination and ridicule, and the best thing we can do is put aside our petty differences and get behind these young men and our athletic program.  This is Kentucky, home of perhaps the most engaged and supportive fan base in all of America, and our team needs us right now -- not for a shoulder to cry on, but for faces in the stands to show them that the name they wear across their chest means more than television time or NBA opportunities.  This is the most storied program in all of college basketball.  Let's make sure our young men know just exactly what that means.