You know you're getting older when Carson Daly, a key fixture in your 1990s childhood, is nearly 40 years old. Daly celebrates his 39th birthday today. For many, Carson Daly represents a distinct era in the former life of MTV. Daly was part of a wave of "VJ's" that swept MTV for quite some time, hosting a variety of shows that began the removal of actual music from the station. If you didn't want to be a VJ when you grew up at some point in your life, what were you spending your time doing? Playing outside? Exercising? Doing homework? Laaaaame.
Daly was the host of one of MTV's most popular shows of all-time, Total Request Live (TRL). TRL was on around the time when most kids got home from school each day. The show would count down the top 10 music videos as voted on by the viewers. Teens and tweens would race home from school to watch the same Blink 182 "All The Small Things" video for the 19th week in a row. The top 10 rarely changed from week to week, yet the show still remained fascinating with a variety of cool guests and games. For a while after TRL, Daly's biggest claim to fame was dating Jennifer Love Hewitt. Since then, Daly has (in my opinion, against all odds because there's nothing actually THAT overwhelmingly cool about him) managed to continue his success in television and hosting. Daly is the host of NBC's hit TV show "The Voice." He is also the host of his own show Last Call with Carson Daly
, as well as hosting a radio show. Daly has had hosting spots with New Year's Eve gigs as well. Eat your heart out, Jennifer Love Hewitt. You were great in Party of Five
And now on to the news and views from the day...
The Kentucky basketball and Kentucky basketball recruiting news was rather slow today, but one 2014 primary target for the Cats narrowed his list to 10 schools today. Cliff Alexander, the #5 ranked player in the class of 2014 out of Illinois (a power forward) named Kentucky as 1 of his 10 finalists.
The list of schools, in no particular order, included:
The popular choice at the moment for the "team to beat" for Alexander's services is Michigan State. Only time will tell, but a nice battle for Alexander among the trio of local schools (UK, UL, IU) could be brewing.
In another small recruiting tidbit, the #5 player in the class of 2015, Australian native Ben Simmons, apparently had a good talk with Coach Cal today.
The hottest topic around the Kentucky basketball world right now revolves around the draft status of Nerlens Noel. Noel was once thought to be a near shoe-in for the #1 pick. The Cavaliers, who hold the spot, seemed to be very interested initially. While Noel is still in the running for the top pick, the winds seem to be shifting toward Maryland's Alex Len as the #1 choice.
Between the rumors of Noel having questionable people around him, to the questions surrounding his health coming off a knee injury, to his unproven offensive ability... Noel's grasp on the #1 pick might not be quite as strong.
As a decent consolation prize though if Noel is not picked #1, Noel could wind up falling to the Washington Wizards with the #3 pick. Noel and another former Wildcat John Wall could join forces to create the nucleus of a young up and coming NBA team
-- and certainly a potential favorite NBA team for the Big Blue Nation.
Despite the rumors about his questionable "handlers" and potential falling draft stock, Noel has kept a positive attitude about the whole situation. Those of us who have watched him blossom in his short time in Lexington, while also showing a caring and compassionate nature toward anyone he came in contact with, are likely not surprised at the positive spirit he's been keeping.
“I could have stayed in Boston,” Noel said. “But the first thing was I wanted to be with the best. Kevin Wilk is known as the best and I just want to come back from this injury as strong as possible. If I had to move to China, I would have. I just want to be with the best and work as hard as I can to come back.“
Archie Goodwin on the other hand, the second Wildcat we will all have our eyes on during next week's NBA draft, is still jockeying for a position in the 1st round. Matt talked about in some on today's radio show, but Goodwin's chances to succeed at the next level very well could hinge on whether or not he slips in or out of the 1st round.
As Daniel Orton has proved, even if you don't have great success initially-- being in the 1st round will likely keep you in the league in one way or another. On the other hand, guys like Jodie Meeks and Doron Lamb have done well and both of those players fell to the 2nd round.
In an interview following a workout this week with the Sacramento Kings, who hold the 36th pick, Goodwin spoke about an NBA player he might liken himself to...
"I don't really compare myself with players, but I've heard comparisons to Russell Westbrook. Especially when I play point guard."
In another bit of Archie Goodwin news, Goodwin spoke highly of his former Kentucky teammate Nerlens Noel. "I expect him to dominate it,"
he told the Sporting News. "He is a hard worker. Go back and look at our games, he already has defense down pat. His instincts are unmatched. He was such a big part of our team. I stay in touch with Noel a lot... that is a bond we will always have for life. That's what playing at Kentucky is about."
To read the entire article, in which Goodwin talks about his relationship with Noel, which remains close, click here.
Kentucky football took a break from YAHTZEE today, but recruiting star assistant coach Vince Marrow stopped by KSR's radio show this morning to share some of his secrets on convincing Ohio's elite talent to pick Kentucky. If you didn't already have an inkling that Marrow was a bad (and I mean that in the "cool" way) dude... the interview should have solidified it. Here are some of the highlights from his interview:
1) Vince Marrow knows LeBron James. OF COURSE he knows LeBron James. LeBron is his boy. Maybe he can get LeBron to a UK football game. Love him or hate him, that would be huge.
2) Marrow saw Kentucky as a prime recruiting position for him. Marrow knows the state of Ohio and has deep connections. He understands that playing in the SEC is a dream for most kids. Convincing kids to come to an SEC school only a few hours away (from Ohio) seemed like a perfect combination for him. "This could be a good thing."
3) Marrow knows a Mark Stoops nickname, but won't share it. Secrets secrets are no fun...
4) "His name carries real deep in Ohio. The name just carries a lot of weight there."
(on Mark Stoops)
5) The success at the previous schools of Neal Brown's offense and Mark Stoops' defense and putting players in the NFL has been a huge key for recruiting. "It sells itself."
6) "We recruit speed. Whether they are up north, south, wherever. We are going after the top guys, not the second tier guys."
7) "I was blown away (by the spring game). Coming off of that Cat Walk...we were like 'wow!' Someone told me this was a football state. I always thought it was a basketball state. I can see the passion every day. You'd be amazed, the people are very fired up!"
8) Every staff member watches the clips of the recruits and gives a vote for "yay" or "nay."
9) The pace of the offense will be staggering. Marrow echoed the statement by Brown that Kentucky will run the most plays in the country.
10) If anyone was going to play Vince Marrow in a movie, it would be James Earl Jones. *Voice twins*
11) The Kentucky football staff is looking to change the culture here at Kentucky. "It can be done here. Sky's the limit."
12) Vince Marrow digs yoga. That is all.
We learned today that one of Kentucky's future football players, Darius West, currently has his leg in a cast while recovering from surgery. Although West is down and out, the Kentucky football staff made sure to send some love to one of its important 2014 commitments.
"ALL came in mail today. UK coaches don't mess around! Most dedicated coaching staff in the nation!"
How is North Carolina's athletic program still seemingly in tact?
I've never seen such a high profile institution have such potentially huge scandals almost brushed under the rug
. This reminds me a lot of Duke and Corey Maggette. Yet another story came out today that possibly links UNC point guard P.J. Hairston with an NBA agent named Rodney Blackstock.
If you'll remember, Blackstock was also allegedly linked to Kansas' Ben McLemore. Blackstock might be connected to the car that Hairston was pulled over in last month. The NCAA is currently taking a closer look at the connection between the two, while also continuing to investigate the whole gun and marijuana thing. Nothing to see here folks... Move along.
Hairston's eligibility is clearly in question and at this point it would almost seem surprising to see him in uniform when Kentucky faces the Tar Heels this season. Luckily Hairston won't have to worry about missing any classes for court dates or anything like that...
The Mississippi State baseball team advanced to the championship series of the College World Series today with a win over Oregon State. Although on the surface that might seem insignificant, there are 2 interesting Kentucky connections:
1) John Cohen used to be the head coach at Kentucky
2) Before the Kentucky baseball meltdown of 2013, the Wildcats actually won 2 of 3 games in a series with Mississippi State.
Oh, what could have been?