Happy Christmas Eve ladies and gents! I'm not even going to try to charm you or wow you with news and facts about birthday boys Ryan Seacrest, Ricky Martin, Jay Bilas or Jay Wright. Why? Because, frankly, I'm tired and I have the always pleasant Christmas Eve day at the office to look forward to. So, with that being said, let's jump in to a couple of quick notes.
- The football team packed it in for a holiday break after squeezing in 11 practices
so far since the end of the regular season. These extra practices, which don't get a lot of publicity or media coverage, are one of the reasons why Kentucky has been able to be competitive (for the most part) in the SEC after years of getting smacked around regularly. We've spoken numerous times about the massive gap in terms of recruiting between the Cats and their SEC East counterparts and the need to develop players, and these extra practices are a big reason why you see two and three-star players turning into solid SEC starters. This is, perhaps, the most important reason for making a bowl.
- The UK media relations department announced that punter Tim Masthay will be one of the subjects of a half-time feature during the Sugar Bowl
. Masthay, whose good deeds have been well-documented, will be a part of the 11-player Allstate Good Works Team highlighted by the story during the halftime break between Alabama and Utah.
- If you watched college basketball on The Worldwide Leader tonight, you got to see two names from the past in action. Both Butler's Shelvin Mack and Illinois' Alex Legion took the national stage tonight
, but neither really blew us away. Legion, the former UK shooting guard/son of a prophet, continues to be the most discussed transfer in the history of ESPN college basketball analysis. I'm not trying to knock his ability at all, but I do find it pretty mind-boggling that a guy that came off the bench for six games and then left is the subject of so much doting from the ESPN talking hairs (mostly Lavin). But, I'll admit that I was mildly amused to watch him check in to a roaring applause and then promptly get lost on defense and then have his three-point attempt swatted into the third row. He finished with 0 points in the Illini's win over Missouri.
Mack, on the otherhand, still put together a pretty good game despite being saddled with fouls in the first half of Butler's upset of #12 Xavier. The freshman from Bryan Station finished with 7 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 25 minutes of action, but did help ice the game with two late free throws. Mack, the latest in-state edition of "I can't believe UK didn't sign him" is now averaging 13 points and 4 board and 4 assists per game for the Bulldogs.
- There are a couple of recruiting notes worth mentioning from the past couple days (courtesy of the recruiting master, Jody Demling
- Class of 2010 point guard K.C. Ross-Miller recorded his 4th triple-double of the season over the weekend with 23 points, 13 steals and 10 assists
- Jon Hood's (not this one) Madisonville squad was overmatched again on Monday night against Centennial (Tenn.), but Hood still went for 29
- In the Beach Ball Classic, Scott County fell to Franklin County, Ga., 79-77 after blowing a 10-point lead. Dakota Euton had nine points on 3-9 shooting. The previous night, the Cardinals beat Byrnes (S.C.) and Euton had 25 and 6.
- Dominique Ferguson had 17 points and 13 rebounds in Sunday's victory over Chicago Simeon
- Clark County beat Doss on Sunday behind Vinny Zollo's 7 points and 11 rebounds
Well, that's pretty much it for now. Stay tuned for more throughout the day as we help usher in a Big Blue Christmas, introduce you to the first KSR marriage and get you ready for the Florida Atlantic game. See you this afternoon.