Happy Friday, hope you have some big plans this weekend. And I really hope they don't involve your mode of transportation being crushed by a whale.
Plenty to get to so you can embarrass your friends with all kinds of interesting nuggets this weekend. Here you go...
--- The inaugural 1200 Club event will be tonight at the Lindner Center in the Varsity Village. It's the kick-off the for the season of the new club and will include a chance to get inside the brain of Butch Jones and UC football.
Should be pretty neat for anyone who has the opportunity. Here is a link to how you can join the 1200 Club.
--- Pre-snap Read gives an in-depth preview of UC -- but ranks the Cats at No. 43. He acknowledges himself he's playing into the hands of the program who has fed off of disrespect over the previous years.
And, to be fair, this team belongs among the most difficult to predict because of the coaching change and unknown parts on defense. Still, 43 overall and 4th in the Big East is a significant slap in the face.
--- Thanks to ACMazzaro for bringing this up on Twitter (you can follow me here) and I wanted to specify one thing from my WR position analysis: Kenbrell Thompkins has not yet been cleared by the NCAA.
--- Our old pal Josh Katzowitz reported bad news that the Ravens cut former Bearcat Digger Bujnoch.
--- Rush the Court ranks the Top 20 basketball players in the Big East. It's a little top heavy with nine of the 20 coming from Villanova, Pitt, WVU and Georgetown.Yancy Gates slips in the back door at No. 19 as the lone UC representative.
RTC points out what any Bearcats fan paying attention already knows:
"Gates is a strong, physical specimen in the post with an NBA body that isn't afraid to get dirty. The problem with Gates is that he does it 70% of the time. Conditioning and effort question marks have lingered over Gates during his college career, but there's reason to believe the light bulb could go off as a junior."
No other UC players even made the honorable mention list and, that probably makes sense for now. As Mick Cronin said on Monday, they are "going to lie in the weeds and win games."
--- Lance Stephenson signed with the Pacers yesterday. Terms were undisclosed. The question isn't if he would earn the first contract, but will he develop enough to deserve the second, more-lucrative one? Stay tuned.
--- Pretty much everything Dana O'Neil does is pure gold, but this latest effort is a game-changer in taking a look at the true, ugly underbelly of college hoops recruiting. She surveyed 20 major conference college coaches and provided them complete anonymity and in return received brutal honesty about cheating and trust. Hint: There's a lot of one and very little of the other.
It's a must-read if you are a college hoops fan and interesting even if you aren't. Here it is.
--- Sad to see The Sporting Blog breaking up, they were always one of the most entertaining spots in my bookmarks. Plus, Chris Littman is a fellow Bobcat, so you know its good. He did manage one last post about the best conference in college basketball next year and it isn't the Big East.
--- CBS Sports thinks Pitt is one of the Top 5 football/basketball combo schools in the country. Both programs are solid, though, I hate to the be one who continues to point out that Dave Wannstedt still hasn't won anything.
--- Brook Lopez, Devin Harris and Courtney Lee of the NJ Nets are jumping in on the three-player nickname act. At least, in the world of fake sports news at Sports Pickle.
--- I have a couple of trips planned over the coming few months and can't wait to add this sticker to my luggage. Though, I will certainly have to leave an hour earlier to account for the added time trying to get through security.
--- Anchorman: The Musical. Please come true.
--- Breakfast tip of the day: If stumble upon a Bison, you should probably keep your distance.