Tonight's birthday of choice is none other than one of the truly great old school comedians, Don Rickles.
I know a lot of you young whippersnappers believe that the comedy of today is superior to that of yesteryear and some even go so far as to argue that Dane Cook is actually funny (an absurd thought.) Rickles was one of the original insult comics, back before the only true practicioners of the crafts were hand puppet dolls. Rickles comes into a room doing exactly what I think is funny, going after people in a cutting, but lighthearted way. So many people have copied off of Rickles that most of his jokes now seem tired, but he still has been known to take a few people down a notch. Most recently, Rickles classic joke about Frank Sinatra was applied by a friend of mine to Rick Pitino: "I dont mind that the guy thinks so high of himself that he makes me kiss his ring.....but he doesnt have to put it in his back pocket." Don is now 80 years old, but when I hear him on Stern or see him on Letterman, he still makes me laugh. Go get em Don...
To the news....
I am in a bit of a renaissance mood tonight......maybe it is because the light looks to be at the end of the tunnel for the two names that have most often been associated with this blog.... Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas. Tonight news actually came from both sources and it will be the focus of this report. First off, Jai Lucas.
I spoke with Jai for a few minutes tonight and he had a number of things to say. First he repeated what had previously been reported, that he had narrowed his list down to three schools, Florida, Kentucky and Oklahoma State. He said that these three schools are "likely the best places for me when you consider everything all the way around." He said that he hoped to make a decision at a press conference next Monday somewhere in the afternoon.
Jai had a number of interesting things to say about the schools involved. First with Kentucky
he said, "you know I was very comfortable with Coach Smith and knew him very well. It was tough at first with Coach Gillispie as I didnt know him as well. And one of the reasons I have waited so long is to try to get to know him better and I have. He is a great guy and an intense coach. He has a whole strategy mapped out for me and I like that. Plus Coach Cyp is there and he is great people." As for Florida he said that, "they have come on hard and I like Coach Donovan a lot. He told me when he came here that he had considered the Grizzlies but decided to stay at Florida. I understand that and it will probably keep happening because he is a hot commodity. But I am comfortable with the school and the program right now and they are a big factor."
Jai also addressed the seeming neverending rumors on his recruitment
. On the supposed story of him being there when Taurean Green signed with an agent, "I dont know where people get this stuff. My graduation present was that my parents took me to Las Vegas for the fight. While we were there, we saw a bunch of the players getting ready for the draft where they were working out. But I didnt see him sign with an agent....people just say stuff I think." Jai told me that he legitimately didnt know what he was going to do. "People wont believe this, but I really havent decided. I want to get to know Coach Gillispie more and think about all three schools. I dont have a decision yet."
Jai was once again forthcoming and had interesting comments to say. It will come down to the wire for Jai and I think everyone (him included) will be glad to have it done.
Now onto Patrick Patterson
. I spoke with Patrick's mom on the phone and she raved about Billy Clyde at the banquet tonight in Huntington. "He gave a great speech and really was nice to listen to. He seems like such a nice guy and he really has been great to get to know. No other school came in here with a more detailed plan for Patrick and what they want to do and we really appreciate that. We are learning more and more about him and like everything we hear."
She told me that in addition to Billy Clyde, Coach Cyprian and a "graduate assistant" (Chris Walker?) was there for the occasion. She also told me that Patrick did not want to make his official final three
known until tomorrow. I asked her about reports from various media that the final three were Duke, UK and Florida based on conversations with Patrick and she said, "I am not sure about that. I think Patrick wants to tell the coaches of the other schools who arent on the list before it is official. So I dont know what is with those reports right now." She didnt however say they were the wrong three schools. She said Patrick hoped to have a decision "early next week, maybe Monday" and that Patrick still had not made up his mind. We will be talking to Patrick tomorrow and may have one last final interview on the Mob late in the week.
So there you go, the two golden boys are set to end this process
, and maybe even on the same day. Bob Gibbons today said that he no longer believed the two would be going to the same school, and that they could be headed in opposite directions. I am not sure whether I feel comfortable saying that right now as I think there is still much to be decided. Anyone who tells you they know for SURE what Jai, but especially Pat, is doing is simply lying. These two are staying close to the vest and all that one can really garner is an educated guess.
BEAS HAMGA AND TYLER ZELLER
are on the Sports Mob today beginning at 5 pm. Make sure and check it out and catch up on these two UK targets. More news as the day progresses, including comments from Patterson and a rundown on some other tidbits from the day.....