U of L athletic director Tom Jurich made the right call to stay far away from the growing fiasco in Texas.
LOUISVLLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Deep thoughts while waiting for my calls to be returned by Nick Saban, James Bond and Beyoncé. (Tickets? Anybody got tickets?)
*If Tom Jurich ever second-guessed his absolute lack of interest in the University of Texas athletic director job (and I'm 99.7 percent certain that he never has), all he needs to do is focus the other 00.3 percent of his time on Twitter today.
You can find reports that A) Mack Brown has resigned as the Texas football coach; B) Mack Brown is in Florida recruiting future Longhorns; C) Nick Saban has agreed to coach the Longhorns; D) Saban is about to sign a $7 million extension to stay at Alabama and E) either Saban or Brown will be the next coach of the New York Knicks.
As Jurich understood when he reaffirmed his commitment to U of L six weeks ago, money – and your own TV network -- can't buy success or sanity. Consider Texas Exhibit A.
The Longhorns have a new athletic director -- Steve Patterson -- but the puppet strings are being pulled from behind another burnt orange curtain.
*Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean has shifted some of his defensive philosophy during his sixth season in Bloomington – and for that you can credit a Louisville basketball coach.
That would be Hall of Famer Denny Crum.
Crean and Crum have talked defense during several fund-raising events in the Louisville-area in recent years. Crean remains a big admirer of Crum's championship teams from the Eighties, especially the ones with interchangeable defenders like the McCray brothers, Derek Smith, Lancaster Gordon, Milt Wagner and Charles Jones.
If you watch Indiana defend, you'll find the Hoosiers switching on more screens. The tactic has been effective. Opposing teams are shooting only 36.2 percent. Indiana is also plus-16 in rebounding margin, first in the country.
"We switched a lot," Crean said after the Hoosiers defeated Oakland Tuesday night.
"That's the thing that ‑‑ we really recruited this team to be a team like that, that could do a lot of switching. And I used to talk about the conversations with Denny Crum, playing against those teams, and if you have your optimum way to play you have a lot of switchable guys. That's what made Louisville so successful for so many years with Coach Crum."
*Ratings Rundown – this is where Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and Western Kentucky rank in the latest college basketball computer rankings – Pomeroy, Sagarin Predictor and RPI.
Louisville: 1 -- 3 – 82.
Kentucky: 7 – 9 – 49.
Indiana: 35 – 25 – 71.
WKU: 177 – 177 – 193.
*Here are the predicted season and conference records for the Cardinals, Wildcats, Hoosiers and Hilltoppers by Pomeroy (clip and save optional).
Louisville: 27-4 overall, 15-3 in the American Athletic Conference.
Kentucky: 23-8 overall, 14-4 in the Southeastern Conference.
Indiana: 20-11 overall, 10-8 in the Big Ten.
WKU: 18-13 overall, 10-8 in the Sun Belt.
*Finally, early predictions for Louisville's Dec. 28 visit to Rupp Arena:
Pomeroy projects Louisville 76, Kentucky 75, giving the Cards a 51 percent win probability.
Exhale, UK fans: Sagarin's numbers favor Kentucky by 1.96 points, factoring in the homecourt advantage.