John Clay

Turns out, the polls do matter at Duke

Random notes:

■ The local chatter about Kentucky's failure to crack the Top 25 reminds us that frequently, when it comes to polls, it's all about the view.

Down at Florida, Billy Donovan warned his young Gators that the school's re-entry into the Top 25 did not mean a thing.

"When talking about programs like Duke, North Carolina and UCLA," the Florida coach said to his local media, "I don't think they ever talk about their program being ranked, as they think it is something that is supposed to happen."

Oh, really? Don't tell that to Mike Krzyzewski. The Duke coach recently scolded his local media for not making a bigger deal out of the Blue Devils' rise to No. 2 in the Associated Press rankings.

"I know it's not that big here," Coach K said of Duke's success, "but it's pretty damn good. So when this group makes No. 2, it's a new group, they should be celebrated for doing something good."

Personally, I'd lean toward telling Coach K to put a sock in it.

■ Speaking of polls, I recently conducted a poll on my blog at Kentucky.com concerning UK's all-time best three-point shooter. The winner: Tony Delk with 43.3 percent of the vote, followed by Jodie Meeks at 26.7 percent. Travis Ford was third at 14.2.

■ Speaking of rankings, Ken Pomeroy's computer has bumped the Cats up to No. 20 overall, and 15th defensively.

■ That said, I think a good high school team could have beaten Georgia on Sunday.

■ If Bob Knight is the clarion of all things pure in college basketball, why is the General doing some deal-for-dollars in Las Vegas? Didn't Elvis start his slide in Vegas?

■ Even the best coaches can slip up, as witnessed by Ben Howland's UCLA team failing to get off a shot in the final regulation possession of its 61-58 overtime loss to Arizona State.

■ College hoops' newest term: "A tough two," as in "He turned down the open three to take a tough two."

■ Indiana has dropped the price of balcony tickets to $5 in hopes the move will draw fans to see the hapless Hoosiers.

■ Said it before, but how big does that Edgar Sosa shot at the end of the Kentucky game look now?

■ It's early, but Mississippi State might be for real.

■ Tennessee apparently is trying to bail out its football program with a stimulus package for its new assistant coaches.

■ How cute that the new UT football coach, Lane Kiffin, would name his new baby, Monte Knox Kiffin, and that the boy will be called Knox.

■ Yeah, but does Tennessee have a "head coach of offense"?

■ Water-cooler question: Which Southeastern Conference basketball coach gets the ax first, Georgia's Dennis Felton or Alabama's Mark Gottfried?

■ Just so you know that shady shenanigans in prep hoops remain alive and not well, the coaches at a San Diego high school were placed on leave when it was learned that star forward Terrence Boyd, the nation's 50th best prospect according to Rivals, was living in a luxury $2,400-a-month condo with his unemployed mother.

■ A lot of people out there must think that despite his team's 16-2 record, Tubby Smith can be coaxed into leaving the cold Minnesota winters. Tubby's name keeps coming up at Alabama and Arizona. There are those in the Valley of the Sun, however, who dream that Tubby's predecessor at UK might be interested in coaching another group of Wildcats.

■ I have never seen a coach not want to do a halftime TV interview, yet do it anyway, the way Billy Gillispie did not want to talk to Jeannine Edwards at halftime of UK's win at Tennessee last week.

■ Speaking of Billy G., did you see that the same official that teed up Gillispie in the UK-U of L game was the one who called the key bench technical on Georgetown freshman Greg Monroe in the Hoyas' loss to Duke on Saturday? Take a bow, John Cahill.

■ You need to check out Ryan Parker's musical tribute to Jodie Meeks. You can find it at www.ryanparkersongs.com.

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