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Morning Newspaper: Easter Edition

Derby Festival Classic 2009 -- A ton of Blue and White at this game.  Taken by yours truly.
Derby Festival Classic 2009 -- A ton of Blue and White at this game. Taken by yours truly.

Happy Easter to everyone, I hope you are able to enjoy it with friends and family.  As is sometimes the case, the Masters' final round falls on Easter this year, and what an Easter present it would be for Kentuckian Kenny Perry to hold on to his 54-hole lead and win his first green jacket.

Last night, I attended the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic, and it was a good time.  These young high-school players have impressive skills, and many future stars were on display last night.  I'll have more to say about that in a while, but I did enjoy the game and I think that virtually every player out there will be a good addition to whatever school they wind up at.  A lot of outstanding talent was on display, and there was a very sizable and vocal crowd on hand to enjoy it. 

I continue to be amazed at how UK fans outnumber Louisville fans in this city, but if last night were any indication, I would estimate the disparity at about 1.5-1 in favor of the Blue and White.  Louisville was well-represented, though, and there were a surprising number of Hoosier fans in attendance, and they were very vocal when the Indiana recruits were in the spotlight.

And now, for the news.

Kentucky Basketball News

  • Calipari starts his life in the Wildcats' den.  This New York Times Quad article compares John Calipari to Nick Saban, and the similarities between the two programs and tradition despite the fact that they coach in two different sports.  I actually tend to think this is a very apt comparison, and not just because the salaries of both coaches are so similar.  Alabama fans are just as rabid about their football as UK fans are about their basketball.
  • We could have all hoped to never hear the name Richard Cheeks again.  But that hope is in vain.
  • Michael Eaves runs into John Calipari, and they discussed some interesting things.  Here is a taste:
    Our conversation was quite candid, and thus I cannot share everything we discussed. However, I will tell you one thing I said should be at the top of his priority list: bring back the former players. Since Tubby Smith left Lexington, former players were starting to feel less and less welcome on campus and around the program. From what I have been told, both Billy Gillispie and Mitch Barnhart are responsible. If that is indeed the case, they both should be ashamed.
    Indeed. [via Straitpinkie]

  • Konner Tucker is a Demon Deacon.
  • UKmadness reports on the Nike Hoop Summit, which was played last night as well.

Kentucky Football News

  • First scrimmage held for UK football.  Seems the dropped pass syndrome is back in the UK receiving corps, but the defense apparently played very well.  Interestingly enough, redshirt freshman Coshik Williams was the leading rusher.
  • Some notes for the Derby Festival Classic from Jerry Tipton.  I thought Orton and Hood played very well, and the team was clearly better when they were on the floor.  Orton did not try to score much, he was satisfied to rebound and dish to others.  Hood is just a good all-around player, with a better handle than I thought.  I'll have more on the game later today.
  • Ohhh, a little intrigue -- Hood says he is now 100% committed to UK, after suggesting there was a 5% chance he might change his mind.  His remark to the Courier-Journal was, "Something happened, I can't tell you what."  Something good, apparently.
  • The big uncommitted Ukrainian, Kyryl Natyazhko, decided last night to commit to Arizona.  Natyazhko was very impressive in stretches last night, and would be a great pick-up for anybody.
  • Matt Jones has an interview with Scott Padget.
  • Speaking of Scott Padget, here is a report that Padget will be joining Coach Cal's staff.
  • Tony Delk, too?

Other UK Sports News

  • Bat Cats fall to the Diamond Dawgs.

NCAA Sports News

  • Darrin Horn will not be going elsewhere after only one year at South Carolina.

Other News of Interest

  • Tragedy in Murfreesboro.
  • Jared Lorenzen is playing arena football these days, and led the Lexington Horsemen to victory over Wilkes-Barre Scranton.
  • General Quarters wins the Bluegrass Stakes.
  • Go Kenny!  Win that green jacket!