The Kentucky Sports Radio crew is now fully back from Vegas and ready to get head over heels into the July camp period. It was an excellent trip as always, this time highlighted by the Turkey Hunter and my introduction to the prop comedian known as Carrot Top.
Now I must admit that for the vast majority of my life, Carrot Top was simply a punchline to a joke for me. If something was lame, unfunny and generally made me want to scream with agony, I would analogize it to Carrot Top, rinse and repeat. But then one day I heard the guy on Stern, and all of a sudden a little light came in. He was funny and self-deprecating and acknowledged that his success was somewhat random and ridiculous. Then, I saw him on Jimmy Kimmel and saw that he seemed to like the guy and all of a sudden, the idea of liking Carrot Top seemed reasonable. Next thing you know, I am in Las Vegas (surrounded by Carrot Top billboards), and the KSR crew sees Carrot Top at the Hard Rock Casino, jammin to a mediocre bar band. I do what any self-respecting blogger would do.....I go up, introduce myself, ask for a picture, and the next thing you know you have a Carrot Top-Turkey Hunter-Matt Jones picture that will live in the history books. In person Carrot Top is BIZARRRRREEEEE looking. His face is distorted looking, his hair is crazy and he is RIPPED unlike anything I have ever seen. Seriously, if Kentucky's linebackers had Carrot Top's build, we would be unstoppable. But he was also very nice, talked to us for a long time and now has a new fan. So while I know that many just assume Carrot Top is lame, now I have to like him. The punch line for my jokes will have to be Jay Leno, because the creator of "Carrot Juice" is now my homey.....prop comedy for all!
To the news......
Last week on my last full appearance on The Sports Mob until after the bar exam, I mentioned that I continued to hear that Scotty Hopson would be considering Kentucky
after the AAU season. Many on the internet said that I was full of it, didnt know what I was talking about and was just seeking to stir the pot. And while all those are normally true, THIS TIME, I did have some knowledge. Seriously though, the "Hopson may open things up" story has been one that I have heard from multiple inside people since Billy G arrived and two weeks ago, it was confirmed to me yet again. Now it turns out you dont even need to just trust me. Our favorite columnist, Jerry Tipton, spoke to Hopson and while he says he is "pretty solid," with Mississippi State, he and his mother acknowledge that they may look around after the summer.
As I stated on the show, the forces that pushed Hopson to Mississippi State are AAU forces (Midstate Ballaz) and I have heard for a long time that when he is away from those forces, UK may be right back in the mix. Its a good thing too.....Scotty is BLOWING UP this summer and has the potential to be a Top 10 All American prospect. Stay tuned.....the Hopson ride aint ending anytime soon.
So what about other news.....well there isnt a lot as we enter the July period where the news is somewhat thin. Tyler Zeller
is still a solid UK target and all signs point to UK being in his top 2-3 schools. Willie Warren
acknowledges that he has cooled on UK in part because of all of their recent commitments (which of course led Jerry Tipton to spin them as potentially being bad.....gotta love the LHL). When I spoke with Rotnei Clarke right after the Warren to Baylor commitment, he told me that Willie liked Baylor because "he wants to get to the league in a year and he thinks he can do that there." Rotnei Clarke
still loves UK and a commitment could come anytime.....but he would prefer to wait until he can visit another couple of schools. And, Darius Miller
I still hear could decide by the beginning to middle of August.....and UK seems strong. Thus while the news is thin, it isnt a bad sign at all. Folks just need to get used to the fact that with UK moving so quickly on so many kids, there wont be as much to cover......recruitments that take years may be a thing of the past, and thus the news will be fast and furious....but shorter in duration.
Along those lines, I am often asked which recruits I would prefer to see UK get. Here is my Top 10 wish list
of the Class of 2008, considering the guys Kentucky is seriously looking at, and who I believe they have a chance with:
The first three names would be the fulfillment of a perfect class in my view. Liggins, Zeller, Miller and Clarke can be the foundation to a Championship. I like Singleton, Czyz and Green a lot, but that is my ranking based on what I have seen. Willie has dropped now that I believe he is obsessed on being a one and done. I put Dunigan in the same camp as Romero Osby in that I think they are a bit overrated. Fortson is special, but not necessarily what UK needs and I love Eshaunte Jones....if Clarke goes elsewhere, he moves up. I dont have Hopson ranked, but he would likely be at slot three for me if he were available.
I am starting to get pumped for football.
I got my Phil Steele Preview issue and now I am ready to go. We made some nice bank last year on college football picks and I am ready to do it again. Steele likes UK's team, but thinks that they wont be able to win as many games as others believe. I tend to be with on that. But I cant wait for Commonwealth this year....Louisville, Tennessee, Florida and LSU all at home. That is going to be special. We will have a Kentucky Sports Radio presence at every game, with special guests and contests (for instance the White Castle Challenge again.....). It will be great. Rob's daily football report begins soon.....be ready.
One more thing. We have been busting our butts on this site for over a year and we have a ton of great contributors. I am really done with watching people kill posts (especially ones that arent by me) for not being "about UK news" or the like. If you dont like the posts, ignore them. This site is not just a news site, and if you want that, this isnt the place for you. We started the Greatest UK Player Ever Tournament below, so check that out. We have lots coming this week and lots of special "July type" posts. Look for a Darius Miller interview this week, Howard Schnellenberger (alum of UK, former coach of UL and current coach of UK opponent Florida Atlantic) on the show and more. Stay tuned throughout Monday as Rob reports from the Kentucky Hoop Fest......