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Back in Wildcat Country!

Yes, it's true.  My week-long visit to the hinterland between SEC and ACC territory has ended, and I am firmly ensconced behind my good old Ubuntu box refreshed, and ready to take a look at the World of the Wildcats.

First of all, I want to thank JL Blue for taking ASoB to a new level while I was on hiatus.  I appreciate what JL has done and continues to do for ASoB more than I can ever express in a blog post, and I can tell by the response that our readers enjoyed seeing more of him again.  Simply awesome, JL.

The Wildcat Report has a bit of the transcript of a chat by Andy Katz where Katz responded to a Wildcat fan who asked "why do you hate my beloved Wildcats so much?"

I'm not quite sure where this whole "Katz hates UK" meme comes from, but an unscientific web poll done here at ASoB shows that Andy ranks second among the least liked media figures, right behind Dick Vitale.  

Now, I understand why the Big Blue Nation is incensed with Vitale -- he made some very critical comments appearing to implicate Wildcat fans in the departure of Tubby Smith, and many Wildcat fans (including me) felt some of his comments were a bit unfair.  In addition, Vitale is just one of those guys who people love to hate in general because of his excessively ebullient and sometimes annoying persona.

But Katz baffles me a bit.  I have never really thought of Katz as anti-UK, and his explanation above about some of his more recent articles seems perfectly reasonable to me.  But for some reason, there appears to be a perception around the BBN that Katz has it in for us.  Personally, I don't see that.

Three very large sports blogs, SPORTSbyBROOKS, WithLeather, and AwfulAnnouncing linked JL's post about Elton Brand's response to a haughty Dook student.  This brought a virtual avalanche of visitors to ASoB, and we wish to thank all those worthies for the link and the traffic.  So visit them and take a look, if you haven't already.

Larry Vaught recently had a look at Patrick Patterson's recruitment by Billy Gillispie.  In there, Vaught notes that Patterson is ranked higher at this point in his career than Jamal Mashburn was.  Obviously, Patterson has yet to display the kind of offensive prowess that Mashburn proved capable of, but I predict Patterson will have a huge impact on Kentucky next season.

The Courier-Journal answers a question many of us have been asking about the loss of strength and conditioning coach Scott Holsopple.  It appears that the football S & C staff have taken on the challenge of working with the basketball team as well as the football team.  Billy Gillispie also tells the C-J he is in no hurry to round out his staff, and that he considers the last assistant hire to be "a really, really, really, really critical hire".

Jodie Demling has a story in today's Courier-Journal about Rick Pitino's spin on recent defections from the Cardinal's 2008 recruiting class.  Both Jeff Withey and earlier, Martez Walker have backed out of their verbals to the Cards.  Predictably, Pitino manufactures a silver lining to this dark cloud (doesn't he always?):

Pitino has long been touting the '08 class as potentially one of the best in school history, and last week he said again that the Cards are on track for a top-10 class.