Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
That time has come again, the time I like to call the storm before the calm. After the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, there’s always a lot of recruiting action, the NBA heads into the playoffs, and major sporting events like the Masters, the Kentucky Derby, the NFL and NBA Drafts and the meat of the college baseball season take over from March Madness.
But a month from now, it will be back to the Boys of Summer and occasional golf and tennis tournaments. Most recruiting news will be sparse, and college sports will be over for the year. Oh, we’ll be talking about next season but it will seem remote.
But today, I must give a shout-out to Eldrick “Tiger” Woods, who won his fifth Masters tournament over the weekend. It was an impressive, but completely un-Tiger-like victory where he mostly played steady golf and waited for his competition to crack, which they did.
Gone were the hero shots of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. They were replaced by solid target golf, risk-minimization and careful shot placement.
Gone was the crooked driver and putting yips of the last decade. They were replaced by a repeatable power fade, smart situational club selection, hit fairways and putts that always had a chance to go in.
Gone was the emotion-on-the-sleeve swearing, club-tossing and fist-pumping, replaced by a stoic concentration worthy of Ben Hogan in his prime. On the final day, you never saw Woods’ teeth, let alone a smile, until the final put went down.
Gone was the swing manipulation and slavery to supposed perfection, replaced by a familiar and repeatable swing reminiscent more of 2000 than 2008.
Congratulations to him. I am reminded of what our long-time readers will recognize as one of my favorite quotes from the Dune trilogy by Frank Herbert, in this case Dune Messiah:
“Here lies a toppled god.
His fall was not a small one.
We did but build his pedestal,
A narrow and a tall one.”
- Epigram attributed to the Bene Tleilax
But the fall, however great, did not quite topple Tiger’s competitive spirit. He did not win the Tiger way, he won the old-fashioned, very Hoganesque way. Fitting. The old becomes new.
Tweets of the Morning
PJ Washington has signed with Roc Nation Sports as his agents— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) April 15, 2019
Condolences to Kyle Macy, John MacCleod’s family and connections.
Saddened to hear my Coach while with the PHX Suns, John MacCleod passed away Sunday. Had been battling Alzheimers for the past 10 years. He was a class act!!! pic.twitter.com/1MKaOerrg4— Kyle Macy (@KyleMacy4) April 16, 2019
- With the uncertainty surrounding Gunnar Hoak’s future, could Beau Allen, graduating this year from Lexington Catholic, be the next in line to join the QB corps?
- Inside College Football: Josh Allen’s coverage.
- What happens when a Louisville high school football star commits to Kentucky.
- Congratulations to Keldon and PJ on great seasons, both careers too short, but sweet.
Keldon Johnson buying high end cars with PJ at Bluegrass Motorsport. If there was any thought he might stay, I think this confirms he is gone. Good luck Keldon! #BBN @KySportsRadio pic.twitter.com/zkOEWFBC1T— John Harralson (@WalkemJohnny) April 15, 2019
Other Kentucky sports
- Softball’s Lauren Johnson seeing success at UK.
- Kentucky hosts 17th annual CATSPY awards at Memorial Coliseum. Mr. and Miss Wildcat winners were football’s CJ Conrad, softball’s Katie Reed and swimming’s Asia Seidt. Find the other honors at the link.
- Bat Cats host Louisville tonight. The Wildcats dropped the game in the River City, so they need to defend Kentucky Proud Park tonight.
- UK Athletics 2019 Hall of Fame class announced.
- Gary Parrish updates his 2020 Top 25 and one to reflect retentions, departures, and other events.
- SI on the hiring of Mick Cronin at UCLA. Consider:
Right now, it’s too early to know whether Cronin’s middle-America toughness will translate to the palm-tree-filled streets of Westwood. What is clear, though, is what the hiring process says about a program with more national championships than any other: UCLA is further than it’s ever been from college basketball’s pantheon of bluebloods.
I’ll go further – as of now, UCLA is much closer to USC than to Kentucky, UNC, Duke et. al.
- Virginia star De’Andre Hunter declares for the NBA Draft. His teammate, Ty Jerome, is also heading to the NBA.
- Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura will be entering the NBA Draft. No surprise there, and he’ll be the first Japanese-born player ever selected, probably as a lottery pick.
- DeCourcy: By reinstating Will Wade, LSU chose the path of least resistance.
Other sports news
- DeMarcus Cousins goes down with an injury, and alas, it is serious and season-ending.
Prayers for Demarcus. Hope this isn’t as serious as it looks pic.twitter.com/dyiB1OgAha— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) April 16, 2019
- With the Derby prep races finished, Omaha Beach is the favorite in the 2019 Kentucky Derby Media Poll.
A worthy cause.
- Happy birthday, Kareem!
- The Cathedral of Notre Dame has a serious fire that does major damage to the historical house of worship.
- Scientists have found possible life-supporting conditions on nearest exoplanet.
- Can snowfall become a source of energy?