I'm going to take this opportunity to dump some news links. There have been a good number of news articles that have been uncovered and unlinked here, so it's time to play some catch-up.
First up: This Herald-Leader article by Jerry Tipton about how the buzz is back in UK basketball. The thing that caught my eye about this article is the extensive quotations by Tubby Smith uber-foe Richard Cheeks.
To say that Cheeks is a controversial figure in UK basketball lore is an understatement on the order of "Tiger Woods is a good golfer". Cheeks created a firestorm last year when he famously tried to run an add in the UK student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel, demanding Smith be fired. Needless to say, this ripped open the already gaping wound that had developed in the Big Blue Nation surrounding Tubby Smith, and a bloody Internet war over the merits of Cheeks' arguments ensued from which the Wildcat Faithful has yet to fully recover.
So for those of you who have forgotten who Cheeks is or why Tipton considers him quote-worthy, The Fake Gimel Martinez at FireBilly.com née FireTubby.com assembled what is perhaps the definitive encapsulation of this episode.
Go Big Blue Cats has several links for buried news stories about the Cats, including a Bob Hill article that asks "Are we too basketball crazy" and a checkup on Jamaal Magloire.
Dick "Hoops" Weiss has a blog post about Billy Gillispie investigating the New York basketball scene.
NCAA Hoops Today covers a story about Ole Roy getting some heat for weak recruiting from fans of that school with the ugly sky/powder blue uniforms.
Mike DeCourcy tells us the 2008 recruiting class just isn't particularly good at all. DeCourcy goes on to give us examples of highly-touted flops in other recruiting years, particularly 2003 and 2005. I find it fascinating how so many "can't miss" recruits not only miss, but by a mile.
This article recalled a recent post over at The CAA: Life as a Mid-Major where MGL said he hates recruiting, and the lack of decent talent evaluation past the top 25 or so in every class is one big reason why. I have consistently maintained that the Internet recruiting services' rankings of players below the top 10 or 15 are just dysfunctional. They almost become one giant, amorphous blob with little to distinguish between them.
Recruiting Wars has tons of links to evaluations of recruiting classes 2007 through 2009. If you are into recruiting big time, you should check this out.
The Big Lead links to this story in Newsweek Magazine about "The Worldwide Leader." The article notes that ESPN has become more of a fraternity between the sports media employed there and the guys they cover. It seems an incestuous, unhealthy relationship that only furthers the perception that Barad Dûr is doing more harm than good.
Gregg Doyel has a funny mailbag this week. I don't particularly care for his writing, but I am a big fan of self-deprecating humor.
Another sportswriter I don't like, Seth Davis, has an interesting article (for him) on the summer recruiting scene, including a few minutes with Billy Gillispie (hint - the Gillispie part is on the last page.
Football Capital of the South reminisces about Derek Abney, and has video. He was explosive.
Matt Jones, feeling his oats, takes a shot at Jerry Tipton -- and scores!