Here's to starting another feature to be posted most weekday mornings, focusing on general sports news. Don't worry, we'll tie LSU into the stories where applicable.
After being shunned by Billy Donovan, Kentucky appears set to hire Billy Gillispie as its new head coach. As someone who follows basketball nearly as much as football, I think this is a brilliant hire for the Wildcats. And I'll be honest, I think he'll be better at UK than Donovan would have, which probably makes me sound mildly retarded considering Donovan has won two straight national titles.
All Gillispie has done is train under Bill Self (the current best coach to never win a national title), turn around UTEP and then make Texas A&M -- TEXAS A&M!!! -- a national power. A dumbfounding loss to LSU this year withstanding, what Gillispie did in College Station is nothing short of a miracle.
Unfortunately for Tiger fans, Kentucky is going to return to Super Power status within the next few years, meaning yet another monster hurdle for John Brady and Co. to try to overcome each season. The only silver lining is UK is in the Eastern Division, so we only have to see them once a year. But I wouldn't count on too many more SEC Championship trophies being shipped anywhere other than Lexington and Gainesville for quite some time.
Also, this hiring makes me wonder about LSU's women's search. Kentucky went from Donovan to Gillispie in less than 24 hours and made a deal. LSU has a national-title caliber team coming back for next year and has nothing right now. I'm just saying. Update [2007-4-6 15:0:36 by Purple Reign]: Kim Mulkey of Baylor has just signed a contract extension and isn't going anywhere. She was the best coach possibly available behind Duke's Gail Goestenkors, who's now at Texas. Draaaaag those feet.
Serial cheater Bob Huggins is ditching the Little Apple for his alma mater of West Virginia. There's nothing like a coach being given a second (and likely last) chance by a school, breathing life into the program, hauling in the nation's number one class and then jetting for greener pastures after one year.
Don't put it past Huggins, who's close to earning the Jerry Tarkanian Lifetime Achievement Award from the NCAA, to sway a few of his prized recruits, including phenom Michael Beasley, to Morgantown. It's not against the rules of the NCAA, just the rules of common decency, so HuggieBear should be more than okay with it.
Michigan State and Boston College reached the final of the Frozen Four. The two meet in Saturday night's final. While it may be hard to believe, the Frozen Four is nearly as big in the north as the Final Four. I love hockey as a sport and wouldn't mind seeing it more in college. However, I think LSU might be at a slight disadvantage if they ever added it. Last I checked, we don't get too much ice down here.
Boston Red Sox megastar Daisuke Matsuzaka made his major-league debut on Thursday in Kansas City, striking out 10 and earning the win. He's clearly on a different level than other pitchers that have crossed the Pacific and, at only 26, should be a force for years to come.
Which begs the question, why don't collegte baseball teams recruit more in Japan, or even outside the US at all. You see it in plenty of other collegiate sports, particularly some of the smaller ones. As much talent as there is out there from other countries, you'd think some coach would have tapped into this resource by now. I know baseball teams only get 11.7 scholarships, but you'd think they might be able to bring in a ringer every couple years on a full ride that could make a huge difference for three years.
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