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Sizzling Summer Storylines

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By Ira D. Combs Syndicated Columnist
Tri State Sports Media Service Inc.

Remember how hot it was in those quaint little old high school gyms of the 50's & 60's with those old potbelly stoves that kept it 90 degrees inside while it was freezing outside, well, I've travelled the Commonwealth from Hazard to Lexington to Northern Kentucky to Louisville in the last few weeks and at no point has it been within 15 degrees of those old gyms, it's hot folks. So, while we wait on September and the start of football season and a little more comfortable weather let's look at a few items of interest to think about before 2011 ends.


Here is 10 sports questions for the Commonwealth of Kentucky's sports fans to ponder as we enter the second half of 2011 with a little tongue in cheek involved in a couple of the questions:



1. Why wasn't Reds closer CoCo Cordero asked by any of the NL Home Run Derby contestants to pitch to them in the Home Run Derby?


2. After spending the past month and a half on the AAU and KHSAA team camp trail evaluating high school basketball players I never heard the word tall used at any point by any coach or recruiting service guru in describing a player, all of a sudden players are only long. What do they do now lay them down and measure them with a yardstick? Do we really have to change the most basic terminology of each sport?


3. Do you think Richie Farmer in his wildest dreams ever thought the news media in this state would turn on him the way it has?


4. Has their ever been a more popular BASKETBALL coach than John Calipari at this juncture in his career at UK who hasn't won an NCAA Championship?


5. There has been a lot of talk by Big Blue Nation about not spending money on UK football at the same rate as UK basketball which flames the question, will the new scoreboards and renovations at Commonwealth Stadium enhance the so called fan experience enough to give Joker Phillips and Mitch Barnhart a pass if they have a second losing season in a row? Oh yes, don't forget the new uniforms.


6. Will the new UK President and his wife escort those stellar academic award winners onto the field at Commonwealth Stadium at the end of the first quarter and during the first TV timeout at Rupp this coming year? It literally sucks the life right out of the fanbase at both sites especially Rupp Arena.


7. Will there ever be a sporting event in this state to annually rival the Kentucky Derby? I don't think so, forget it NASCAR fans. Basketball and Horses are a way of life in Kentucky, has been for many years and I don't see it changing.


8. Will the Louisville Sports Authority and the folks at the KFC Yum Center make a pitch to the KHSAA to bring the popular Sweet 16 State Tourney to the River City?


9. How did Vanderbilt's new football coach and staff reap commitments from two 4 star recruits (Josh Dawson & Brian Kimbro) at the impact positions of running back and defensive end and beat schools like Georgia, Notre Dame, LSU, Nebraska, Va. Tech and South Carolina in the process who had all offered?


10. Will the City of Richmond and the EKU administration with it's new synthetic tartan surface at Roy Kidd Stadium ever get off their ??? and make a serious bid to host the KHSAA Football State Finals? A lot of H.S sports fans across central, northern, and eastern ky. are getting tired of traveling across the state to Bowling Green.


Eddie Ford's Kentucky Hoopfest


Spent last weekend in Louisville and got to see a lot of good high school basketball players in several age groups from across the Commonwealth and the entire nation at Eddie Ford's 30th Annual Ky. Hoopfest in the Ky. Fair and Exposition Center's South Wing. Ford's event is the oldest of it's kind in the nation and annually attracts well over 300 college coaches and recruiters. Also, if you want to know anything about or pick up any breaking news on Kentucky high school hoops whether it be coaching changes, player transfers, etc. it's a must event to attend each July.


There were at least a couple high profile players playing on one of the all-star AAU teams from in state representing all 16 KHSAA regions. Seems to be a lot of good young players in the 8th, 9th, and 10th grade getting ready to come on the scene.  Listed below are some names that you may or may not have seen or heard of at this point that I predict will be hot players in the next couple years:


Braxton Beverly - Perry Central - 8th

Cameron Justice - Knott Central (Formerly East Ridge) 9th

Evan Hall - Knott Central - 9th

Charles Johnson - Lafayette - 10th

Shane Hall - Johnson Central - 10th

Justin Johnson - Sheldon Clark - 10th

Tyler Black - Mason Co. - 10th

Jackson Davis - Lafayette - 10th

Wesley Noble - Breathitt Co. - 10th

(all of these players above were varsity starters on their respective teams last year)


Several older players who have already committed to a Division 1-A team and will be entering their senior year this fall were on display as well:


Derek Willis - Bullitt East - (Purdue commitment)

Adam Wing - Rowan Co. - (Oklahoma State commitment)


Two players who have went under the radar with out of state college coaches and recruiters in the past but seem to have gained some respect this summer were 6' 6" Matt Day - Buckhorn and 6' 4" Taylor Barnette - Lex. Christian


You can go online to for more coverage of UK basketball and football as well as KHSAA basketball and football .



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