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What to read while Bus Stop steals your girlfriend/wife

Because it's going to happen anyway.

Big thanks to Card Game for pointing us in the direction of Dan McDonnell's blog "Words from the Coach." The 2007 Coach of the Year posted an update this morning in which he discusses his excitement about opening day on Friday, and the pitching rotation for the opening weekend.

Obviously this is a very exciting time of the year. The kids have been working hard. For the most part we have been able to get outside, but the weather has presented some challenges. The pitching rotation is set for the 1st weekend, but the line-up is still up for grabs. On the mound Friday will be senior captain Zack Pitts. Sophomore Justin Marks will start Saturday and senior captain BJ Rosenberg on Sunday. Senior Jimmy Belanger looks to be the Tuesday starter which leaves only an inning or so this weekend in order to have him ready against Wright State. The bullpen is anchored by junior Gavin Logsdon and the young guns. Freshmen Dean Kiekhefer, Gabriel Shaw, Neil Holland, Bob Revesz and Thomas Royse are ready to get their 1st taste of college baseball. Sophomore Matt Lea (transfer from Miss. State) is coming along well. Matt missed all of last year with a shoulder injury and threw to his 1st live batter Feb. 3rd.

As for the position players, we'll talk about them next week. There are 2 injuries, junior shortstop John Dao will be out for 2 months due to an injury he received at one of our scrimmages. Sophomore Chris Pelaez is recovering from 2 hamstring pulls and will not start this weekend. He might see some at bats in the right situation. Hope to see everyone out at the ballpark this weekend.

This is yet another huge day for my ever-expanding "you can run a blog and still be cool" movement.

Pitt has a big game at Notre Dame tomorrow, so the Louisville talk on Pitt Blather and likely won't pick up until after then.

Just noticed a new member of the swelling U of L blogosphere. Be sure to check out Throwin L's when you get a chance.

It's reached the point where commentators have to say something either George Wallace-racist or Samuel "Screech" Powers-stupid for me to be truly shocked, and Brent Musberger's Kelvin Sampson-love last night nearly met the latter requirement.

Musberger remarked in the second half that Sampson's issues - both the repeated multiple violations and subsequent lying, I'm assuming - were the result of "only overzealous recruiting, and nothing more." He then said at the conclusion of the broadcast that "we certainly hope that we see coach Sampson Saturday, still on the sidelines with the Indiana Hoosiers." I wonder how Erin Andrews and Steve Lavin feel about this.

The Fan House's Michael David Smith was as taken aback by Musberger's odd stance as I was, and posted Brent's sign-off for the world to be puzzled by.

And if that weren't enough (there's that man again), Awful Announcing pointed out another Musberger-ism that I would have otherwise missed. Apparently, in the closing seconds of the first half - when I was fully engrossed in Stephen Curry heaven - Brent shared with the world a little rumor that had fallen into his lap: that the Wizards are planning on trading Caron Butler back to the same Los Angeles Lakers team that sent him to Washington in 2004.

Bob Woodward waits until players are in the endzone before declaring that a touchdown has been scored, and that's the only thing keeping me from wondering if Musberger was actually Mark Felt's confidant all those years ago.

John Calipari - who recently jumped from No. 21 to No. 18 in the "World's Worst People Top 25" - said after his team's win over Gonzaga last month that Memphis was "going to go from being Tennessee's team to being America's team." The absurdity of the statement wasn't lost on any college basketball fan with a functioning mind, and was hammered home by a pair of national writers this week.

ESPN's Pat Forde was the first to debunk Calipari's attempt to paint his team as the protagonists in a Disney movie.

  • Pierre Niles (20), a backup center who, according to the MempHis Commercial Appeal, owns the blue-sleeved hand seen slapping a UAB fan in the stands in the picture at the top of this story. Debris-throwing UAB fans should be embarrassed by their postgame behavior toward the Tigers -- but if you don't run across the court to get into the faces of those fools, as the Commercial Appeal reported Niles, Shawn Taggart (21) and Jeff Robinson (22) did, you stand much less chance of being goaded into slapping anyone. But judging from Niles' body (6-foot-8, 310 pounds) and body of work (eight points this season), altercations might be his strong suit. (Meanwhile, Conference USA reacted with trademark sluggishness, failing to complete its review of the fracas as of noon Tuesday. A spokeswoman said the league is "still gathering information" on the Niles slap, more than 60 hours after it occurred. Meanwhile, Memphis has announced no discipline of its own against Niles.)
  • Taggart and Robinson, who don't just get their kicks by taunting UAB fans. They also have September 2007 arrests for inciting a riot outside a Beale Street night spot called the Plush Club on their résumés. Neither missed any game time because of the incident.
  • Don't forget Joey Dorsey (23), the spectacularly athletic MempHis center who police say also was involved in that September Plush Club incident, though he was not arrested. After that one, Calipari said Dorsey was down to his last strike to stay on the team. And it takes some work to reach last-strike territory with Cal.

Fox Sports' Jeff Goodman then took things a step further.

It's becoming a pattern down in Memphis.

Not the 25-game winning streak, the abysmal foul shooting or even the country's lone unblemished record. There's no statistic kept on it, but John Calipari's program has to be among the nation's leaders in legal issues.

Robert Dozier provided the latest blot on the program's reputation after he allegedly hit his ex-girlfriend twice after a late-night dispute earlier this month.

That pushed the count to six -- meaning half of the current team has been in some sort of legal trouble since arriving on campus.

That's not even counting the post-game fracas the other night at UAB, during which Memphis reserve Pierre Niles slapped a rowdy, possibly deserving fan in the face.

And just for good measure, here's a fairly hilarious picture of Niles' now-infamous postgame slap.

If ever there was a group that deserved to be the first to lose to a 16-seed, it would be this one.

It's only February, but the inevitable preseason theme of "Kragthorpe seeks redemption" is already emerging.

11. Seeking redemption: Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe hopes to rebound from a dreadful first season in which the Cardinals started with national championship hopes and finished 6-6. Kragthorpe must replace quarterback Brian Brohm, who figures to be a first-round choice in the NFL draft. Senior Hunter Cantwell, who started when Brohm was injured during the 2006 season, finally gets the full-time job. But Cantwell won't have top receivers Harry Douglas and Mario Urrutia, who are headed to the NFL.

Another bizarre story from the zany world of Billy Gillispie as former walk-on Dusty Mills (the one who wore high socks and was shorter than you) says Gillispie went nuts on him and threw him off the team for smiling on the bench when Ramel Bradley was hurt in the game at Georgia. The highlights of the story are that Mills apparently didn't get the boot until the team returned home from the Vanderbilt game, Gillispie wasn't interested in hearing his side of the story and told Mills that he was "sick of" him, and Gillispie held the conversation in an assistant's office with the door open so that everybody could hear.

The general reaction from Kentucky fans seems to be "he was a walk-on so who cares," but even if you do hold the players who actually produce in a higher regard than the ones who never see the floor, you still have to feel at least a little bit for a kid who was living a pretty unthinkable dream. Unless of course he made up the whole story, in which case he has brought great shame to the vaunted character of Ollie from Hoosiers, and probably deserves this.

With Steve Slaton bolting for the NFL, Noel Devine is now the main man in Morgantown, and he's already off to a hell of a start.

Lewis and another friend saw Sangarie surrounded. Sangarie said he was punched in the back of the head and fell to the ground and was then kicked several times. Sangarie said Devine and Sanders were involved.

Lewis intervened and said he was hit in the eye and kicked by others in the group. Lewis complained of shoulder pain.

The players and the others in the group then ran off and the victims tracked down Bennett.

You have to feel for this kid, not because he was assaulted, not because he's now an infamous name in Morgantown, but because he was able to ID Devine and not another player on the team who isn't 5-foot-2. If I'm publicly admitting that I just got my ass kicked by a Division I football player, Noel Devine is right behind all punters, kickers and walk-on wide receivers on the list of people I don't want to have done the kicking.

And finally, it's combine week in Indianapolis for NFL Draft hopefuls, and says Brian Brohm is one of the guys with the most to gain.

Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville: Brohm was significantly overrated coming into the season, as many projected him to be a top 10 pick. He is equally underrated at the present time with some scouts thinking he could slip to the late part of Round 1.