Posted May 16, 2013, 5:49 pm
With Coach Cal at last year's event.
I had the opportunity today to attend a fundraiser for the One Parent Scholar House in Lexington. The Don and Mira Ball "Education Builds Hope" Luncheon was held at the Carrick House near Transylvania's campus.
During my brief encounter with Coach Cal during a photo, I told him I already had my hotel reservations for Dallas and was ready for #9. He smiled and said thank you, but I could see in his eyes that he wanted to say: "40-0...mark it down!"
Coach Cal gave some opening remarks (as seen in the video below) which he dovetailed into the One Parent Scholar House's mission in giving single-parents with children opportunities. The guest speaker was Jeannette Walls who authored "The Glass Castle." (If you have never heard of this book, then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.)
You can watch the entire video to see Coach's speech, but here are the pertinent basketball-related quotes:
"This morning I was asked how did I feel about Louisville winning a National Title...'How did that make you feel?' I said ...'We did it first so I was ok."
"One thing I can tell you about being at Kentucky - I went from being in the business of basketball to being in the business of helping families. You can call it a success rate...25 players have gone through that program who either graduated or went onto pro careers. That's a success rate."
"Some kids leave earlier than others. I wish we didn't have the one-and-done rule, but we do. And, I support them and their families."
"I'm proud of the fact that we had a 3.4 grade point average as a team with 12 guys over a 3.0. So, it's not just about basketball. It's about creating an environment...[applause]...for success for those young people."
This was the 2nd year I attended and while meeting Coach Cal is always a highlight it is secondary to the good things going on at One Parent Scholar House and other Scholar House developments around the state. Nothing is better than hearing the actual parents of the facility talk about how the affordable housing and daycare services give them opportunity to finish their post-secondary education. This is truly an investment to change lives of not only individuals, but generations to come.
Posted May 15, 2013, 12:12 pm
This video will cheer you up and make you forget about Wiggins.
Posted May 14, 2013, 12:11 pm
Posted May 14, 2013, 11:52 am
With the Wiggins decision less than 30 minutes away, this entire saga is finally about to come to an end. It's not every day that a player is mentioned in the same breath as MJ, Kobe and LeBron. Wiggins is that once in a decade type player and an NBA star in just a year. What is important right now is where he briefly touches down before his ascent to mega-stardom. Will it be one of the three biggest blue-blood programs (Kentucky, Kansas or UNC)? Or, will he keep it in the family and head to Florida State?
KBF is like many other outlets. We've heard rumors all over the board. Our best source with ties to Huntington Prep says Wiggins will choose Florida State.
While I hope to see "Kentucky" broadcast across the Twitter universe, the Seminoles is a better selection (for UK fans) than UNC or Kansas. Wiggins would shine at FSU and put up monster stats. The spotlight will be on him regardless of where he attends, but FSU is and always will be a football school with pathetic turnout for their basketball games. It tends to fit the bill of Wiggins' reported low key personality. It also prevents Kansas and UNC from being immediate competitors against us for our rightful 9th Championship.
But, don't give up on Calipari and the power of the Big Blue Nation. Wiggins has stated he wants to win a National Championship. Picking Kentucky would solidify us in the history books as having the most talented team...ever. Calipari has no doubt told Wiggins over and over about "Anthony Davis took the 5th most shots on our team and went #1...Kidd-Gilchrist took the 4th most and went #2...". Wiggins spent weeks alongside Kentucky commits in all-star games who reminded him that he could go against the best every single day in practice.
We can justify 1000 ways Wiggins should choose Kentucky, but it all comes down to a kid and his parents. I hope that whatever he does is the best for him.
I say UK is 40-0 with Wiggins and 39-1 without him. Either way, we're going to dominate and cut down the nets for #9.
C'mon, Wiggins....please say "Kentucky"!
Posted May 13, 2013, 8:21 am
Andrew Wiggins will make his college decision tomorrow at 12:15 ET. Rather than having a media circus at his school, he has decided to have a small ceremony with his family and friends instead. He's only allowing one reporter, a local writer in Huntington named Grant Taylor, to cover the announcement. Taylor will then Tweet Wiggins' decision to the rest of the world. Who he will choose is still a mystery, but all the anticipation will finally end tomorrow. Goggles up and fingers crossed! (Actually, that's kind of hard to do, but it makes your 3 goggles double-rimmed. Go on, try it.)
Posted May 10, 2013, 3:47 pm
We don't usually cover football on KBF, but in true Cal-like fashion, Mark Stoops has just stolen a great QB from the grasps of Steve Spurrier and South Carolina. Most "experts" were predicting Barker would choose South Carolina. Barker, a 4 Star QB, will propel UK's 2014 recruiting class to a ranking of 18th nationally. Coach Stoops is flat out getting it done and bringing a ton of excitement to the BBN for the future of Kentucky football.
Instead of choosing between the South Carolina, UK, or UT hats Barker pulled out a 4th hat and put it on. It was a C-A-T-S hat. Nicely done Mr. Barker and welcome to Big Blue Nation! Now let's hope Andrew Wiggins follows suit with the next big announcement.
Posted May 3, 2013, 10:41 pm
KBF just received our 2000th Like on Facebook! Thank you to everybody who has Liked Us!
Posted May 1, 2013, 4:25 pm
If most of you are like me, then you are so tired of waiting for Andrew Wiggins to make his decision that you'd rather wait for anything else than for Wiggins to pick Kentucky. I'm not sure what is taking him so long to make up his mind, but I believe he is legitimately torn on where to go to school. He wants to please everybody from his parents, to his friends, to the coaches recruiting him. This whole process reminds me of another famous "decision." The Decision. You know, the one made by one LeBron James almost three years ago and was broadcast live on ESPN.
Andrew Wiggins' decision and King James' decision are so alike that they may as well be mirror images of each other. I just hope Andrew doesn't decide to announce his choice live on ESPN with the corny hats lined up followed by him uttering the phrase "taking my talents to..." Unless he is taking his talents to Kentucky. Then I don't care if he announces it atop a unicorn wearing a tutu. But let me explain the LeBron - Wiggins comparison.
LeBron had several suitors when he was a free agent almost three years ago. But the main players were Cleveland, Chicago, and Miami. He could've chosen to stay home in Cleveland and pleased everybody by staying there. He would've been loved by all, choosing to stay with the franchise that had long been down on its luck and the team that drafted him. Of course, that would've been the one place that would make winning a championship the most difficult. The top free agents had all said that signing with Cleveland was not likely. Has anybody been to Cleveland? It's not like people are clamoring to vacation in Cleveland in February! Just Google "Cleveland tourism video" and you'll get the gist.
So if Cleveland was out then he could've signed with the Chicago Bulls. They were a good team already, with a superstar point guard on the rise in Derrick Rose. Had James signed with them, they would've gone from good to great and become instant Championship contenders for years to come. The problem was that was never a guarantee, and playing in Michael Jordan's shadow is no small task. Especially when the LeBron vs. MJ debate is raging on to this day. If he had signed with Chicago he would have never lived up to those expectations.
That leaves us with Miami. The one place that he knew if he signed with would be instant Championship contenders, and probably the favorites for years to come. Joining up with D Wade, Chris Bosh, and a nice supporting cast would be his best chance at a title. He also had to know that joining up with them would bring instant criticism, hatred, and vitriol. He would go from the lovable LeBron James, to the hate able LeBron who turned his back on his "home city" (FYI, he's from Akron, not Cleveland), and went to join up with his rivals instead of beating them. Do people also realize that MJ never won a championship without Scottie Pippen?
LeBron didn't care about being loved or being hated. He wanted a championship. And Miami presented him with the best chance to win multiple rings. He's on his way to ring #2 this year.
Now, back to our boy Andrew Wiggins. Essentially he's down to Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas and Florida State. You can surely see the similarities between his choices and LeBron's can't you? In our scenario, Florida State is the Cleveland Cavs. He could please his parents, his best friend who has already signed with FSU, but he would certainly know that he would NOT win a Championship at a school like FSU. They have 12 fans! Their best NBA player is either Bobby Sura or Charlie Ward, the man most famous for his Heisman Trophy as a football player.
North Carolina / Kansas would be the Chicago Bulls. Carolina would instantly join next year's elite teams along with Kentucky, Louisville, Duke, Michigan State and Florida. They would probably become the one team to stand in Kentucky's path on their march towards Number 9. But joining the Heels / Jayhawks would not guarantee him the title he says he wants. He would have a great chance, but plenty of other teams would stand in his way. Additionally, signing with Carolina would mean playing for a school where Jordan's shadow still hovers above all.
And that brings us to Kentucky. They are the Miami Heat. They would become the most hated team in college basketball next season, because they would be so filthy, ridiculously, awesome! The talk of a perfect season would be legitimate at that point. He could surround himself with the most talented players, players who would most definitely make him a better player. There would be no double teaming Julius Randle or Andrew Wiggins when the other is left open. He could make the statement that winning a championship is what is most important to him. Not playing time, not shots or points, but winning. Because signing with Kentucky makes them the overwhelming favorite to win 2013's National Championship.
Wiggins has already said himself that the most important factors in his decision are: facilities, coaching style, and great players to surround him. Kentucky has the best facilities in the nation. They have a coach who plays a pro style and has what could be 3 of the last 4 number one overall draft picks in the NBA draft. And the championship would be the easiest to get at Kentucky. But it would also provide him with a great challenge. The challenge to go 40-0. To become the greatest college basketball team of all time!
Kentucky already has the greatest recruiting class of all time based on rakings. The Fab Five currently has that title based on rankings and accomplishment. If Wiggins picks UK then the bulls eye cannot get any bigger! They would be favored and EXPECED to win the championship. Anything less and they would live in infamy.
My gut tells me that he chooses Carolina. My head tells me there is only one clear choice based on his own criteria: Kentucky.