Morning notes and links for another storm-packed Wednesday:
- So did Ryan Harrow visit UK’s campus yesterday or not? Chris Fisher of the Cats Pause reported that Harrow was on campus. You need a subscription to read that report, by the way.
But Garrett Tucker of Nation of Blue talked to Harrow, who said he was not on campus.
Fisher then tweeted: “I understand there is conflicting info on Ryan Harrow but I and CatsPause.com stand by our story.”
So who is Harrow anyway? A five-star prospect who was ranked as the No. 19 prospect overall by Rivals, Harrow was a point guard at North Carolina State last year. He averaged 9.3 points and 3.3 assists for the Wolfpack before asking for his transfer after Sidney Lowe was let go as coach and N.C. State hired Mark Gottfried.
J.P. Giglio of the Raleigh News and Observer has the details of Harrow’s departure.
Excerpt: “Once on campus, though, Harrow found himself behind senior Javier Gonzalez for the first half of the season and often overmatched on defense. At 6 feet and 160 pounds, Harrow’s physical stamina was an issue as was his grasp of Lowe’s concepts of team defense. He finally broke into the starting lineup on Jan. 15. He had 17 points in his first start, at Florida State, and followed that up with 15 in a home loss to Duke. Three games later, he suffered an illness which cost him two games, and he was never the same player.”
- Meanwhile, Aaron Smith of the Kernel writes about how UK’s four incoming signees for next year have raised expectations.
- All Ky Hoops reports that Trevor Lacey will not be visiting UK this weekend.
- Some Kentucky fans were making fun of reports that Rick Pitino might coach the Puerto Rico national basketball team this summer, but now Jerry Tipton reports that John Calipari admits he is considering coaching the Dominican Republic national team.
Are you ok with that? Cal would coach the team in a tournament August 30-September 11. On the one hand, it takes away from his prep time with his Cats, especially for a team that could start as many as four freshmen next season. On the plus side, it could open recruiting roads in the Dominican.
- Kentucky basketball leads the nation in attendance yet again. Instead of building a new Rupp Arena, maybe it’s time to just put a roof over Commonwealth. It might be cheaper. Seriously.
- That attendance news sort of dovetailed with my print column about the prospects for better college basketball.
- How about those Bat Cats? They swept Louisville with a 7-1 win over the visiting Cards last night at Cliff Hagan. My buddy Brent Ingram, UK’s sports info guy for baseball, even sent out this message this morning with his press release: “RED-HOT KENTUCKY BASEBALL TRAVELS BAYOU TO BATTLE LSU”
- So the UK athletics association wants to borrow $3.1 million from the university to help fund $6.25 million worth of improvements at Commonwealth Stadium. This is from the same university that just announced another six percent tuition increase. This is the same university that has suffered numerous cutbacks in funding and resources. This is the same athletic department that has an $80 million budget, that has the highest-paid basketball coach in the country and just awarded its athletic director an annual $125,000 raise. Is that crazy?
The UK Faculty Senate thinks its crazy, and voted 7-0 on a resolution asking the university to turn down the loan request. Excerpt: “Bob Grossman, a chemistry professor and council member, said the idea of UK lending money to the athletics association is “an incredibly politically tone-deaf thing to do. … If the board of trustees approves it, I will see it as another sign that the priorities of this institution are seriously misplaced.”
- Tom Durkin is out as the the announcer for NBC’s Triple Crown races. But don’t expect Dave “Down the stretch they come!!!!” Johnson to take his place. Larry Collmus is expected to be Durkin’s replacement.
- Eric Crawford of the Courier-Journal thinks things are looking “darn good” for Louisville basketball. The Cards named a couple of assistants yesterday, including the return of Richard Pitino. There were rumors of this late in the season. And everyone I asked, including those at U of L, said it wasn’t going to happen. But it did. And I’m glad it did. Have told this before, but one of the most compelling parts of Rick Pitino’s testimony in the Karen Sypher was the coach saying that once the scandal broke he advised his son to take another job out of town.
As for Pitino hiring Wyking Jones, a coach with strong AAU and Nike ties, as a U of L assistant, that’s just a preview of more to come. The guess here is that AAU coaches are going to be in high demand. There are still reports that UCLA’s Ben Howland will hire Atlantic Celtics AAU coach Korey McCray.
- Larry Vaught has video of an interview with UK defensive back Anthony Mosley, though my guess is you might be more interested in the person doing the interview. No offense, Anthony.
- A Sea of Blue examines whether Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight are really ready for the NBA.
- Bleed Blue Kentucky reports on two new UK football recruiting offers.
- Meanwhile, Nation of Blue talks to Louisville Central running back and UK target Ace Wales.
- You, yes, you, could rent DeMarcus Cousins’ house.