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Morning Newspaper for April 29th, 2009

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The big question mark -- does Patterson stay in, or does he come back to lead the Wildcats to the promised land?  An interesting problem, to be sure, and one that is not likely to be resolved for a while yet.  We have heard stories about Patterson leaning one way or another, but as of now, I don't think even he knows what will happen.

Patterson's (and to a slightly lesser extent, Jodie Meeks') decision will have a profound impact on the University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball team next year, at least in the eyes of the pundits.  Andy Katz has  revised his 2010 Top 25 under the assumption that UK will not have Meeks, Patterson or Wall next year.  If any of those players do wind up on the team, it will require an upward revision.  If two or more are there, it would require a substantial upward revision, possibly even to the top ten.

Mike Miller of MSNBC's Beyond the Arc looks at ten players who have tough calls to make about whether they stay at school or stay in the NBA draft, and Patrick Patterson is one of them.  As I have said in the remarks, there are some very good reasons for Patterson to stay in the draft:

  • The draft this year will almost surely be weaker than next, and his position is likely to be higher.
  • The possibility of injury is always a factor on a return to college.
  • Patterson might thrive in Calipari's Dribble Drive Motion Offense.  Or he might not.
  • Patterson might suffer by comparison to Daniel Orton and DeMarcus Cousins, two players who are closer to the "prototypical" NBA power forward.

Of course, there are good reasons for Patterson to return, too, which is why this is not a slam-dunk decision.  So for now, the Big Blue Nation is on pins and needles awaiting decisions from three potential players who will have a big impact on how far Kentucky can go in its first season under John Calipari.

Now, for the rest of the news.

UK Basketball News

  • Chad Ford of ESPN takes a look at the NBA draft and who is likely to go elsewhere.  He has interesting comments on Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson.  Via True Blue Kentucky.
  • UK fans let Jodie Meeks know they want him back.  I think that unless Jodie projects into the first round, he'll be back.  I think if Patterson is a first-rounder, he should probably stay in.
  • Danny Jett wonders if Patterson and Meeks returning might influence John Wall to come.  I have no idea, myself.  Maybe.  Maybe not.
  • Chris Fisher at Kentucky Ink has some interesting stuff on both UK football and basketball, including a text exchange with Alcoa (TN) High recruit Tyler Robinson.
  • Miami thinks they have a legit shot at John Wall.  You never know, they just might.
  • Joe B. Hall tells Larry Vaught that Calipari can be "special" at UK.
  • Bledsoe to visit Memphis.
  • Bruce Pearl thanks John Calipari for getting him and his staff a "nice raise."  I wonder how he'll feel when UK drubs his team next year?  Well, hopefully, anyway. 
  • Meeks still undecided.  My money is on him coming back next year.
  • Look for John Wall to cut his list by Friday, according to this News & Observer article.  UNC has apparently decided to look elsewhere.

UK Football News

  • Marcus McClinton is ready to prove his value.  I think McClinton has a chance to make it.  I hope he does.
  • Trevard Lindley -- future first-round NFL draft pick.
  • Linebacker coach Chuck Smith tells Larry Vaught that the linebacking corps is ready for a breakout season.  Of course, it helps to have Micah Johnson on board.
  • Heh.  The Knoxville News sees hypocrisy in UK allowing Rich Brooks' deal with Makers Mark whiskey after discontinuing passing the Beer Barrel in the Tennessee game due to concerns about alcohol abuse following a tragic DUI incident involving a UK football player.  I think they are right.

    That just goes to show you where political correctness often leads -- to contradictions.

Other UK Sports News

  • Louisville thumps the Bat Cats.

NCAA Sports News

  • A look at how the NBA draft could affect the SEC next year.
  • Team Speed Kills looks at the top ten SEC-Big 10 games of the last decade.  Today is #9
  • Now that G.J. Vilarino has selected Gonzaga, The Slipper Still Fits discusses how Gonzaga is dealing with a scholarship situation similar to Kentucky.
  • Swine Flu at Notre Dame?
  • Jarvis Varnado declares for the NBA draft, does not hire an agent.
  • Mike Krzyzewski is taking heat from Duke fans for missing out on a recent meeting with John Wall (via Duke Basketball Report).  How much heat will he get if Wall comes to Kentucky?
  • Tracy Webster talks to an Illinois newspaper about recruiting.  Some UK names are present in this one.

Other News of Interest

  • Paul Pierce leads the Celtics to a 3-2 lead in their playoff series against the Bulls, 106-104 in overtime.  Needless to say, Rajon Rondo was a major factor in the win.  For the Bulls point of view, check Blog-A-Bull.
  • Chuck Hayes struggles as the Rockets lose to the Blazers.  The Blazer's take on the game can be found at the Blazer's Edge.
  • The Kentucky Derby post position draw is today.
  • Remembering Eight Belles.
  • 17 3-pointers and 61 total points?  Really?  Wow.
  • This is cool!
  • Go ahead and hate Noah.  Okay, I will.
  • News of the weird, the odd, and Todd McShay.