Lots of things going on in the Big Blue Nation. I thought I would catch up on a few items of interest. Here's a few nuggets to go with your eggs:
Matt Jones over at KSR has posted a feel good ( for UK fans ) interview with UK target Daniel Orton. The 6'10", 260 lb big fella is considered a Top 5 prospect by many. He speaks very highly of UK, plus he has a family connection to Coach Cyprien, and Billy Gillispie. I've never had a good feeling about Orton opting to attend UK, but after reading Jones' interview, I now have hope. A lot can happen, quickly, in recruiting. So I'll just cross my fingers and hope for the best.
Top rated QB considers Wildcats
Morgan Newton, a Scout.com Top 10 rated quarterback has announced that he is pleased with what he sees happening in Lexington. So much so that he is now placed UK squarely on his list of possible college destinations. His list is considerable, and features Florida, Miami (Fla.), Purdue, Clemson, and our good friend Steve Spurrier at South Carolina.
But, I think UK is beginning to experience the payoff of having played in two consecutive bowls ( of course winning both games doesn't hurt ). The hard work of Coach Brooks, Joker Phillips and the entire staff will hopefully lead to more highly touted players showing interest in, and attending UK. Of course the coaches do a tremendous job of coaching-up the less heralded prospects, but having a few 4 and 5 star players would certainly be a welcome change-of-pace.
IU assistant skates
Jeff Meyer, former assistant basketball coach at Indiana has been exonerated in the Kelvin Sampson fiasco by the NCAA. What Meyer said after learning of his good fortune is what I cannot believe -- "I have always tried to do my work well and do good work within the NCAA rules." He continued, " ... I acknowledge making unintentional, isolated mistakes ... " -- This from a guy who admitted to giving a recruit a T-shirt and backpack. Even more puzzling was Meyer's defense strategy in fighting the NCAA; he claimed that he made LESS phone calls than Sampson and Rob Senderoff ( former IU assistant). NOT that he didn't make any calls, but that he only made a few calls.
How is giving a kid a T-shirt and back pack, and making a few illegal phone calls done unintentionally? What, does this guy hang out at high schools giving away T-shirts and backpacks, and one day, "oops ... I gave a T-shirt and back pack to a recruit." "I'm sorry, it was unintentional." Well, at least we know that the coaches coaching the young men of today all possess high integrity, and are upstanding contributors to society ready to mold the minds and bodies of our young warriors.
Kentucky football player ( P ) Tim Masthay join round-ballers Jared Carter and Ramon Harris by having his ticket punched to Africa ( Ghana ) in May. He visited the Third World country with a group of students from UK and Prairie View A&M. Masthay hopes to join the Peace Corps someday, and this trip served as a taste of what life might be like ... in the very near future.
I think it's great that these young men are embarking on mission projects in the service of others. Not all athletes are so narcissistic that one can hardly stand to be in their presence.
If you would like to read about Tim's trip in his own words, you can read his diary here.
Name from the past
Eshaunte Jones, a 6'4" wing out of Fort Wayne has been released from his LOI to Oregon State. That isn't new, but UK being on his list of possible schools is. Nebraska ( he visited Lincoln this past weekend ) seems to be the favorite at the moment for the one time Indiana commitment, but if Gillispie wants another guard for the '08 class ( who wouldn't? ) then I would not count out UK.
Based on the programs that have offered Jones, he must have had a bang-up year at Hargrave Military Academy last season. Tennessee, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Missouri and Memphis have all extended scholarship offers. Strong competition. I'm sure we'll know something soon.
I ran into new Western Kentucky head basketball coach Ken McDonald Saturday night. After I finally surmised it was McDonald, I approached him and wished him well. I did though tell him to "leave Terrence Boyd alone" (Boyd is a 4 star shooting guard out of Oklahoma who has both UK and WKU on his list). McDonald laughed and told me, "I think he's about to commit to us". I then threw my iced tea in his face and ran.
Not really. I have heard nothing but good things about McDonald, and if he's able to attract 4 star players to Bowling Green, his stay will be very successful.
McDonald is highly respected both as a person, and a coach. I wish him well and if Boyd doesn't attend UK, I hope he has a great career on the Hill.
Thanks for reading, and Go 'Cats!