Musings from Medicine Hat, Alberta

by:Matt Jones08/24/06

We are coming to you live tonight from the Alberta town of Medicine Hat (whose high school champion curling team you see above), which is known as the center of the Canadian Gasing industry (try and hold your excitement). We are back heading East, after hitting the Canadian Rockies today with some of the most amazing views I have ever seen. If you are a fan of the outdoors, or even are not as I am not exactly an outdoorsman, you have to make the trip up here to the Canadian Rockies. The views of the mountains, waterfalls, canyons and glaciers are stunning and even worth the debilitating four mile uphill hikes that it takes to see them. We are heading back East however now, and I do want to say to all the loyal blog readers that when we get back, next week we will be back to the multiple posts daily.

Now onto the news…..

(1) The big news of the day is the continuing saga of KSR Radio guest AJ Stewart. A writer for an Illinois website published a story today saying that Kentucky was once the favorite for Stewart, but now he had changed his list and that it included Illinois, Kansas St and other schools not named the Cats. As an initial matter, let me say that I think this story is completely bogus. As an initial matter, nowhere in his listing of schools or the writer’s take on the Cats (arguing that Kentucky was no longer the leader) did the article contain actual quotes from Stewart. THe only quotes from Stewart were about Illinois and essentially stated that he would like to visit the school at some point. As those of you who have listened to our interview with Stewart know, he was clear that Kentucky and Oklahoma St are his leaders. That was HIS voice, not a writer’s interpretation. I will trust that over the, in my view, likely bogus Illinois writer’s interpretation.

Having said that, Kentucky has to be careful. This is a kid Kentucky should, in my view, want. And the longer we make Stewart wait, the more likely that a program like Illinois can come and grab him. There is a school of thought that Kentucky’s staff has not yet offered for a reason and that an offer will come at the correct time. We shall see. But what I do know is that this staff has enough interest in this kid to schedule an in-home visit with him very soon. IF that is true, then the staff’s love for him needs to be made clear. Otherwise an article like this may come out that is actually true. In the meantime, we will try and get an interview with AJ this week to update if anything has changed.

(2) According to the Lexington Herald, Patrick PAtterson has narrowed his list to six schools, Kentucky, Duke, Virginia, Wake Forest, Florida and West Virginia. This list is really no surprise, no matter what the Herald says. UNC never offered Patrick and while Maryland writers and fans had hoped he would pick the Terps, no conversation I have ever had with the the kid or the family ever included talk of the home state of the Preakness. I have said for some time (and I still believe) that only three schools truly have a chance, Kentucky, Duke and Florida. And I still would be surprised if the kid is anywhere but Lexington or Durham next year.

(3) Finally, one interesting email I received yesterday contained some good news. Folks say that there is a noticeable difference in the body frame of Perry Stevenson since the new strength coach showed up. As a believer in Perry, all I can say is that this change is GREAT news. Perry is a Multi-talented kid, with great defensive instincts. But he was as skinny as any kid I have ever seen in high school. If he puts on weight to even get to the frame of Tayshaun Prince, he could be very solid in the future.

Tomorrow we hit Montana and head toward the Dakotas. Hope everyone is well and that you are enjoying the final lull, before the dead period in recruiting is over and UK football begins in earnest.

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