Its that time of year again ladies and gentlemen. Its time to do what we all love to do....speculate on crazy names that could be the new assistant coach at the University of Kentucky. The names change from year to year but the enjoyment will never cease. One name that occasionally gets bandied about is none other than UK alumnus and birthday boy Pat Riley. Riley is one of the legendary coaches in American sports and to a certain segment of the population (i.e. folks between the ages of 35 and 50), he radiates cool. These folks remember the Riley of the Showtime Lakers and his slick backed hair, perpetual tan and middle-age fitness. Riley still has that certain glow to him and showed that he still has the coaching chops with the NBA title win last year with the Heat. Few nationally ever remember to connect him to UK, as his current image is far from what it was when he was a Rupps Runt. But he is a UK guy and today is his birthday. We salute the Godfather of Cool.....well except when he is doing this.....
Now onto the news.....
(1) As we first spoke about today on The Sports Mob, I spoke with a source today about possible changes within the coaching staff for next year. The source said that it was all but a foregone conclusion that Reggie Hanson and Scott Rigot will be elsewhere next season and will be replaced by two individuals outside of the program. The individual also told me that David Hobbes would not be asked to leave but might retire due to his past health issues or even switch to a job inside the athletics department......possibly even switching positions with Shawn Finney, who will likely join the staff next season. The source said that Mitch Barnhart is pressing Tubby to go after a dynamic young recruiter and one of the names that has been bandied about is Derek Anderson.....who while now playing for the Bobcats, is contemplating retirement and looking to get into coaching at either the college or pro level.
Now of course all of this is rumor and has varying degrees of what our President might call "truthiness." I know of no one who truly believes that Tubby will be back with Rigot and Hanson in their current positions. Such changes must occur and even the most ardent Tubby supporter would acknowledge they are necessary. The Hobbs possibility is also not too much of a stretch, as this had been rumored even before the difficulties of this season. As for Anderson however, the news caught me a bit off guard. There was a Charlotte newspaper story last week that said that Michael Jordan was interested in Anderson as a future coach and I know he is interested in ultimately heading in that direction. And the UK job makes sense for him.....it is a high profile position and he would be a DYNAMIC recruiter. I just dont want to get my hopes up.....sometimes things are too good to be true....hopefully this one wont be.
(2) We at the Sports Mob are moving towards preparations for the McDonalds All American Game. We are going to be calling the game and will be able to deliver the game cast on this site the next day, along with interviews with all of the major participants. Along those lines, we hope to be the first media entity to interview Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas at the same time in our broadcasts leading up to the game. We all believe a Lucas decision is coming soon and the buzz continues to be that it could be pointed towards that weekend. Patterson said today that he will narrow his list to three this week.....and make a decision the second week in April. Stay tuned.
(3) Couple of words on the continued obsession over the various national media members' comments about the status of Tubby Smith. Simply put, regardless of whether their opinion is pro-Tubby (a la Dan Patrick) or anti-Tubby (a la Colin Cowherd), the opinions hold one common chord.....they are made out of ignorance. If you have watched every Kentucky game this year (as I am sure you have), read this blog, follow the newspaper, etc, you know more about the state of the program than ANY national media member. This is no knock on them, but they sacrifice depth for breadth. Thus they are speaking in generalities.....generalities that they know little about. When Scoop Jackson says the chances of Tubby coming back are "1 in a billion", he is guessing.....when Dan Patrick says recruiting is down, I would challenge him to name one recruit UK signed this year or last. They simply dont know. When a college basketball announcer (like Bilas, Packer, Raftery, etc) says something, I will listen. But your general sports talk person knows as much about the situation as I would commenting on whether Dan Hawkins is getting it done with Colorado football.....i.e. very little. Listen to the opinions if you wish, but just because they are spouted by people with a platform, doesnt mean they are informed (as many would argue is true about me on the radio ;)
(4)Heather Mills kept her leg on. The show was kind of lame. But I am telling you, "The Hills" is great reality television.....and I have a crush on Whitney and the New York intern.....there I said it.
DERBY CLASSIC PARTICIPANTS
Michael Beasley- Kansas St.
Julian Vaughn- Florida St
Deandre Jordan- Texas A&M
Antonio Jardine- Syracuse
Anthony Randolph- LSU
Tyrel Reed- Kansas
Jamelle Horne- Arizona
Ty Proffitt-Notre Dame from London Ky
Herb Pope- New Mexico St
Chace Stanback- UCLA
Austin Daye- Gonzaga
AJ Stewart- Kentucky
Chris Allen- Michigan St
Rakim Sanders- Boston College
Senario Hillman- Alabama
George Goode- Louisville
Lacedarius Dunn- Baylor
Rick Jackson- Syracuse
Jeff Robinson- Memphis
Mike Williams- Kentucky
Nolan Smith- Duke
More stuff as the day goes along, including an update on Jai Lucas and the final date for his decision. Tonight, Doyel yells and screams on the Sports Mob (6-7 hour), Rob breaks it down from 3-5 and we get ready for a visit from McDonalds All Americans of the past (including Alonzo Mourning) later in the week. Check it out on 1570 AM in Louisville and if you are in your car, 1600 AM around Lexington. Streaming is coming soon.....
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