John Clay's notes: U of L's Strong the silent type

U of L head man reflects pedigree

jclay@herald-leader.com,JohnClaySeptember 2, 2010 

Random notes:

■ Word out of Louisville is that new football coach Charlie Strong is a man of few words.

At least with the media.

While Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips meets with the media every day after practice, Strong talks no more than twice a week, sometimes once.

The day he announced Louisville's starting quarterback, via Twitter, he did not answer questions on the decision.

When the Herald-Leader's Chip Cosby wrote an article about the state's three African-American head coaches, Strong was the only one who declined to be interviewed.

Of course, no one cares as long as you win.

■ Theory: Strong coached under Florida Coach Urban Meyer, who is good friends with New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, whose media mantra has always been: Tell them nothing.

■ Aroldis Chapman did not disappoint in his Tuesday night MLB debut, the Reds pitcher hitting 102 on the radar gun. What did disappoint was the size of the crowd at Great American Ball Park. Just 19,218 showed up to see a team that ended the night leading the National League Central by seven games.

■ The tickets Kentucky returned to Louisville for Saturday's football game were part of a second allotment made available only to season-ticket holders and were $77 apiece. And fewer than 200 were returned.

■ More tickets: Did you read where former UK great Frank Ramsey said he would not pay the 270 percent increase in K-Fund donations to renew his basketball tickets? Forget the over-the-top increase. Should a Hall of Famer like Ramsey have to make K-Fund donations in the first place?

■ The Cats won 35 basketball games last year and raised some tickets 270 percent. By that math, we should expect 129 wins next season.

■ If Kentucky's basketball recruiting was ridiculous before Portland forward Kyle Wiltjer committed last weekend, what is it now, redonkulous?

■ St. Louis has experienced a Cardinals collapse since sweeping the Reds last month. The team more experienced in pennant races hasn't handled the ups and downs of a pennant race quite as well.

■ The Reds, frauds according to ESPN radio's Colin Cowherd, boast a division lead nearly the size of Cowherd's ego. Nearly.

■ Retired coach Rich Brooks was at UK football practice recently, and chatted up some media members. It's not true that Brooks started the conversation by running down his family's injury list.

■ Did you see where Joe Mazzulla, the West Virginia guard who scored an unlikely 17 points in the Mountaineers' upset of UK in the East Region finals, was cited for public urination and disorderly conduct? Now he gets in trouble.

■ The Louisville Sports Commission is sponsoring an MVP award for the UK-U of L game, to be called the Howard Schnellenberger Award. Alas, the plaque is apparently not in the shape of a pipe.

■ Did you see where Southern Cal now has 15 compliance staffers? That's not quite one for every secondary violation Lane Kiffin committed at Tennessee.

■ Who says the NCAA never gets one right? Our friends from Indianapolis rightly saw through the charade at Ole Miss concerning transfer quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. Poor Houston Nutt whined, "He's done nothing but what he was supposed to do." If that were the case, Masoli would still be at Oregon.

■ I'll admit it, when I saw the UK football depth chart on Monday, I said, "Who the heck is Luke McDermott." Turns out, he's a starting defensive tackle.

■ Word to the wise: Joker Phillips says freshman running back Raymond Sanders may be the most mature freshman he's ever recruited.

■ We should just remember how good Rachel Alexandra was last year, and that she will never be that good again. It happens.

Reach John Clay at (859) 231-3226 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3226, or jclay@herald-leader.com. Read his blog at Kentucky.com.

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