Today is the birthday of a man sometimes referred to as "America's Shakespeare", Herman Melville.
Melville is of course most famous for his novel "Moby Dick" which haunts young high school readers everywhere with its numerous asides and ubuiquitous dullness that can cause even the brightest of minds to throw their hands up in agony. I must admit that of all the "classic" writers, Herman Melville is without a doubt, my least favorite. In high school I read Moby Dick, "Billy Budd" and "Typee" and while my teacher was (and is) wonderful, the novels themselves were some of my least favorite reading of my young life. Whether it was his many diversions into internal thought processes that made Richard Lewis not seem neurotic or the plots that sludged along like molasses, all three novels made me yearn for something even as fast-paced as James Joyce. Normally on these entries I salute a person that I like or someone who I think has some interesting quality or is worth noting. But today I decided to go the other way. Atlantic Monthly once called Melville one of the 100 Most Influential Americans of the Last Century.....if I were making such a list, I might put him one spot behind Sinbad. If anyone truly loves "Moby Dick", I would like to understand why, but until then I will salute the novel for its best quality, the famous "Call me Ishmael".....or as a classmate of mine who only watched a movie on the book once said, "I dont understand why he wants people to call him Fish Mail."
To the news.....
Ok lets be real.....there isnt a whole lot in the way of news as we are still one day away from recruiting season being opened up. But the internet buzz is the report from one internet recruiting analyst that Tyler Zeller will be announcing his top 4 schools on Friday and UK WILL NOT be one of them.
For those of you who havent had a chance to follow Zeller yet, he is likely my favorite big man in the class, an amazing combination of shooting ability, rebounding grit and overall goofiness. Zeller runs the floor as good as any big man in the class and has great hands.....a quality that often does in his older brother. Zeller is being recruited by all of his home state schools, including Purdue, Indiana and Notre Dame, as well as North Carolina and Kansas, all of whom are his major contenders. From the beginning I have been told that Purdue is the favorite, Notre Dame will be given courtesy interest and that Indiana had a lot of ground to make up. As for the other schools, I was told that two of the UK, KU and UNC threesome would get visits. We are scheduled to have Zeller on our show on Thursday and hopefully we will get some idea which way he is leaning. Zeller is AAU teammates with DeAndre Liggins, but I do not believe they are close. UK will have to win over Zeller individually to get him on campus and at this point, the Cats seem behind. We shall see what will happen but it looks as if the end of this week may give us an idea if Tyler will be a name we hear into the fall.
Folks I know I sound like a broken record, but I continue to hear nothing but great things about Ramon Harris.
I spoke with a different person who has been around the players all summer (not a coach or talent evaluator) but a guy who has played some with the players and he told me this. "Patrick Patterson is going to be great at UK and there is no one on that team that is working harder than him. But I got to tell you man, people need to watch out for Ramon. That kid can leap like nobody's business and can do things on the court that no one else on the team can. He isnt the greatest shooter but he is the best finisher on the team. In the open court, he is unstoppable. If he doesnt play a LOT next year, I will be shocked." Versions of this continue to be repeated to me time and time again. Razor Ramon folks.....summer legend or new UK find? We shall see
You want to talk about a recruitment that you can fight with your friends about? Talk trash about Chris Singelton
from Georgia who has his four main schools at this point listed as Kentucky, Louisville, Tennessee and Cincinnati. If the news about Zeller ends up being correct, Singleton may become realistic Option #1 for UK and he will see the pressure ramped up on him. Singleton is an athletic freak and a guy who can play above the rim and score in bunches. I have seen him have great games and not good games on the AAU circuit, so consistency is an issue. But when linked in, the talent is there and he would be an immediate impact player. UT has often been thought to be a leader for his services so this could be a Billy Clyde vs Bruce Pearl special.....and potentially the first of many such battles. When the contact period begins, we will quickly learn where UK's priorities are located.....dont be surprised if Singleton is at the top.
I cant say enough about the show on Wednesday. Jared Lorenzen.....Phillip Fulmer.....Phil Steele.....and Clay Travis.
It simply doesnt get better on local Kentucky radio. Please check it out on either 1570 AM in Louisville, 1600 AM in Lexington (if the weather is right) or streaming online at 1570thezone.com and linked right here. It will be epic. Need to Know Wednesday coming up......look for the Running Back preview for UK, the football fix and more.....big Wed right here.....
Oh yeah and related to nothing, cameras have just taken the most detailed picture of Earth ever from outer space. I find this stuff fascinating.....