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Sunday Morning Newspaper for April 5th, 2009

The big news of this morning is that the NCAA championship game is now set, and it will be Michigan State and North Carolina.  I saw all of the Michigan State game, and came away more impressed than ever at the coaching talents of Tom Izzo.  Maybe it's just me, but that game looked like anything but the plodding, half-court style that had been so many Kentucky fans' justification for not wanting to invite Izzo to run our men's basketball program.  In fact, Calhoun's Huskies looked more like a plodding, half-court plow-horse, and the Spartans looked more like a racehorse.  Congratulations to the Huskies for a great season, and the Spartans for a great victory.

I understand North Carolina won the second game, but I was not conscious for the second half of that one.  I spent all day doing yard work yesterday, and that plus a big, bone-in ribeye was just too much for me.

And now, the news:

Kentucky Basketball

  • Jason Whitlock says that Kansas fans can root for Roy Williams.  The big news in this article comes here:

    Well, I had a coach swear to me early Friday morning over drinks at the Canadian Ballet that Lance Stephenson would join Henry at Kansas. Yes, Stephenson and Henry play the same position. Yes, Stephenson,’s No. 9 player and No. 2 big guard, delayed committing to Kansas once it became obvious Henry might join the Jayhawks.

    OK, here’s the kicker. Daniel Orton,’s No. 22 player and a Kentucky-Gillispie recruit, is allegedly considering asking Kentucky for a release and signing with the Jayhawks. Orton is a 6-10 post player.

    Yeah, I'm sure this will happen.  These guys really don't want to play basketball, they want to compete with each other and spend a lot of time riding the pine.  Not.

    I suppose anything could happen when it comes to an 18-year old kid making a decision.  I just don't a) see Orton leaving and b) see Stephenson and Henry going to the same place.  It could happen.  I could flap my arms and fly to the moon.  I consider the above scenario only marginally more likely.

  • I do believe Xavier Henry will eventually sign with Kansas.
  • Mike Pratt is very impressed with John Calipari.  It's interesting the comparison between his impressions of Gillispie's desire to come to UK vs. those of Calipari.
  • Ashley Judd thinks John Calipari is pretty.  I'm sure the reverse is true, as well.
  • Those who climb to the highest heights have the furthest to fall, and sometimes that's what happens.
  • Calipari relishes UK stratosphere.  Welcome to Mount Olympus, coach.  Enjoy those robes while you can, and you can as long as you win.
  • The SBN Washington State blog, CougCenter, thinks WSU should take a look at Gillispie.
  • John Clay says that recruits should have unrestricted freedom to transfer after a coaching change.  I agree.  Putting restrictions on transfers looks like questionable ethics to me.
  • Steve Moline has some first impressions of Coach Cal.\
  • Scott Padgett wants a shot at assisting Calipari.

Other Kentucky Sports

  • Ole Miss wins a series over UK in baseball.  Baseball isn't exactly setting the world on fire this year.  Maybe losing John Cohen really did make a difference.
  • UK football notebook.  Consider me still a Hartline skeptic, but the news on the receivers has been good, particularly EJ Fields.
  • Alfonso Smith is raising his game.

Discuss, and treat as an open thread.  I'll be golfing this morning.