Three thoughts for the road as I get ready to drive/slide home from work and into my warm, overpriced apartment.
A lot has been said about Ramon Harris' performance on Saturday, with Calipari giving him huge props after the game for his "total intensity". I cooked up a little +/- action from my rightful place in the kitchen, and here are the results from Saturday's brawl:
With Ramon in the game the team hung seventeen on the Cards and looked crisper and more intense on the defensive end. He managed to contain Edgar Sosa, relieve Bledsoe (thereby allowing Calipari to warn Reginald Delk of things to come), and hit a critical 3 pointer in the second half to put UK up for good. As Kornheiser would say, "Matt, your boy played good."
If anyone is a fan of the "coaches-in-waiting" trend, its Purdue University. As a semi-recent graduate I've seen both the basketball and football programs there employ the strategy to varying affects. Danny Hope, formerly of Eastern Kentucky fame, took over for Joe Tiller on the gridiron last year after a year in limbo as the associate head coach. The boilermakers finished with only a slightly better record than in Tiller's last year (5-7) but did manage to beat Ohio State (yea!)
The school also used the "associate head coach" theme when they made Matt Painter the Joshua to Gene Keady's Moses. It's worked out well for them, both hair-wise and on the court, as Painter has the team at 14-0 heading into a big matchup with Bo Ryan this weekend.
I'm excited for Joker to finally get his chance to run things and I'm looking forward to seeing if the strategy works out well for the University. If it does, maybe we'll see something similar on the basketball side of things in the years to come.
Pick a number, any number
Finally, last weekend the Courier Journal's Brett Dawson
had a pretty cool article about how various Louisville, Kentucky, and Indiana players chose their jersey numbers. While some said they chose them just because they looked cool, Daniel Orton decided to put some extra thought into it.
"When I was born, my mom was 33 years old, my dad was 33," Orton said. "I checked my birth certificate and found out I was born at 12:33. I looked at it again and saw I was born in Room 533. And then when I really thought about it, I realized that Jesus Christ as 33 when he died on the cross."
That's it, boys and girls. Have a wonderful, warm evening as I try to ignore the sounds of my coworkers' nervous breakdowns over weather reports and attempt to brave the stampede that will be the local grocery lines.