Joe Biddle: Sunday Notes: March 24, 2013

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Kevin Pittsnogle. …

  • Could Kentucky's proud basketball program have dropped any lower than to have been assigned to play Robert Morris in the NIT? Not only is it located in Moon Township, a small town near Pittsburgh, the gym's capacity was just over 3,000.

    The not so Big Blue was sent there because Rupp Arena was hosting NCAA Tournament games at the same time.

    To add to the equation, ol' Bobby Morris beat Kentucky, as the fans rushed the court after the final buzzer.

    But all is not bad news in the Bluegrass. On the same day they ungracefully bowed out in the NIT, UK got a verbal commitment from the No. 1-ranked power forward, Texas high school star Julius Randle to go along with a recruiting class that may well wind up being the top class of all time, at any school.

    They will be back. With a vengeance, I would predict.

    They have six of the top 25 recruits in the country verbally committed, including the top guard tandem, Texas twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison. Current freshmen Archie Goodwin, Clarksville's Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein all said after the NIT loss that they will return instead of going to the NBA like so many of Coach John Calipari's players have done.

    Cauley-Stein had some sound reasoning for returning.

    “Nobody's ready for it,'' he told a Lexington Herald-Leader writer. “I don't think anybody's ready for it mentally-wise, body-wise and athletic-wise.''

    Cauley-Stein obviously learned something in his freshman year of college.

  • The old 5-12 NCAA match ups that have produced a number of past upsets in the tournament were alive and well in this year's tournament, which is proving to be just what we thought, a wide-open tournament void of a dominate team.

    Ole Miss' trash-talking guard Marshall Henderson put on another second half show as the 12th seeded SEC team eliminated 5-seed Wisconsin.

    Other 12 seeds to send the 5-seeds packing included Cal over UNLV and Oregon bushwhacking Oklahoma State.

    Southern and Western Kentucky had valid shots at pulling off what, since seeding began, the impossible 16 seed beating a No. 1 seed.

    Did anyone notice that North Carolina A&T, which won a play-in game, is coached by Cy Alexander? He was a former head coach at Tennessee State and has rebounded after the OVC school let him go.

  • The NCAA Tournament has been a blast to watch, once you find out which channel is showing the games you want to see.

    I admit TruTV was not on my “favorites'' list until the tournament.

    And while a lot of games have been compelling, they have been murder on brackets across the country.

    After 24 games, ESPN's Tournament Challenge has one perfect bracket out of 8.15 million entries. And that entry is not found on the leader board since it is not eligible to win.

    La Salle's upset over Kansas State dropped the number of perfect brackets to two and the Illinois-Colorado game broke that deadlock. Only 6.1 percent of brackets had La Salle picked.

    Just 20 percent of the brackets had Ole Miss waxing Wisconsin. The Badgers were on 54.7 percent of the brackets to make the Sweet 16 and nine percent had them in the Final Four.

  • It's time ESPN is putting Bobby Knight out to pasture after this season. It can't come soon enough.

    During the Tennessee game, Knight asked his play-by-play announcer, “How many time outs does Tennessee have?''

    Now I may be wrong, but the game was played in Knoxville and I'm pretty sure the number of time outs each team has is prominently displayed on the Thompson-Boling Arena scoreboards, as it is in every gym in the country.

    Another Knight gem, referring to UT's pep band: “I haven't heard them play Rocky yet.''

  • Our town lost a giant of a man when long-time Lipscomb Academy football coach Glenn McCadams passed away from cancer. He was 66.

    Not only was he one of this state's most successful high school football coaches, but McCadams impacted hundreds of lives during a career that dated back to 1967. He came to Lipscomb in 1982 as athletics director and football coach.

    His Lipscomb football teams won three state championships and he was the state's football Coach of the Year in 2008. He won more than 75 percent of the games he coached with a 283-94 record in his first 20 seasons. His overall record was 319-112 as a head coach.

    He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Alacia, and two children. His son Chip is currently stationed in Afghanistan.

    Lipscomb AD Mike Roller coached basketball when McCadams coached football.

    “Glenn McCadams is one of the finest men I have ever known,'' Roller said in a press release. “He was exactly who you wanted coaching your kids, not because he would make them better athletes. He did, but because he would make them better people.''

  • Here comes some more Speedys. The latest is 10-year-old Carter Speedy, son of Scott and Kathy Speedy. Scott was a standout point guard at Brentwood Academy and Belmont, under Rick Byrd.

    After advancing through the Local, District, State and Regionals, Carter will compete in the Elks Hoop Shoot Nationals April 20. It is his second trip to the Nationals. He finished sixth out of 12 National finalists last year in the 8-9 division.

    In this year's Regional, Carter beat the Kentucky, Arkansas and Missouri state champions by making 23 of 25 free throws.

    After watching the NCAA Tournament, that ability alone would earn him a college scholarship and I'm sure Byrd has his eyes on Carter.

  • My tennis informant Gene Russell notes that Vanderbilt's men's tennis team recently enjoyed quite a weekend in Mississippi, thanks to Australian freshman, Rhys Johnson.

    On a Friday the No. 23 ranked Commodores beat No. 13 Mississippi State in Starkville. Johnson was the difference in the 4-3 victory. He won the seventh and deciding match in a third set tiebreaker 7-6 (1).

    On Sunday, they took another 4-3 match, this one from fourth ranked Ole Miss. Again it was Johnson winning the third set of the seventh and deciding match by a 6-2 score.

  • ESPN college football analyst Ivan Maisel was asked to give the three most difficult jobs that first year football coaches will have at their new job.

    He listed former Brentwood Academy and Vanderbilt/Georgia Tech player Mike MacIntyre as having the highest mountain to climb as he takes over a Colorado program that has won only 25 games in the past seven seasons.

    “They haven't built a building in 20 years, which is an eon in the college football arms race,'' Maisel pointed out, citing a dire lack of facilities. “They also started six true freshmen last year.''

    Second was Tennessee's Butch Jones.

    “This is a program that has had high expectations, but hasn't had high results since Phillip Fulmer left and even before that. They have a lot of financial problems, a lot of debt. The fans are not going to the games and the money is not coming in as much. It has been a tough decade and it will take a lot for Butch Jones to dig out of there.'' 

    Third was Gary Andersen, who took over at Wisconsin.

    Maisel notes that it is not a case where Andersen has to rebuild the program.

    “He has to take over a program that has been to three straight Rose Bowls and there is very little margin of error for him. He is coming in with entirely new schemes and he is in a part of the country that he's never coached in before. It will be a tight wire for him.''

    Of the three, Maisel picks Butch Jones as having the most difficult first season.

    “Just look at their schedule,'' Maisel said. “They have Oregon, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Alabama. That's five teams in our way too early preseason top 25.''

  • Nashville PGA Tour star Brandt Snedeker had a rough trip in his return to action last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    Snedeker has been sidelined for more than a month with rib injuries that saw him going to Mayo Clinic for diagnosis and treatment.

    He fired a pair of 76s, thus missing the cut at Bay Hill. Time is growing short for him to get ready for the Masters.

    Contact Sports Editor Joe Biddle at    

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