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Monday, May 20
* Eric Crawford from www.wdrb.com
Tuesday, May 21
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Wednesday, May 22
* Howie Lindsey from www.cardinalsports.com
Thursday, May 23
* UK guest TBA
Friday, May 24
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As you read my Derby analysis, be aware of my record: I've covered it for 12 years and only hit the winner twice (Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000 and Street Sense in 2007). But I do the research every year and I take my shot, so here goes...
The first thing I do is eliminate the "throwouts", horses I think have no chance to win the race. They are long shots for a reason. I understand that anamolies like Mine That Bird happen but I'm not gonna bet on it. The horses below would have to get a perfect trip and run the race of their lives and that's not enough for me to wager on. So toss:
- Daddy Long Legs (horrible post, rookie jock, 12th on only dirt start)
- Optimizer (9th in two of last three races)
- Rousing Sermon (lacks speed, poor record on dirt)
- Trinniberg (distance limitations)
- Done Talking (never run remotely fast enough to win here)
- Sabercat (mediocre last two times out)
- Liaison (last three races stink. Baffert says new track will make difference but...)
That leaves me with 13 horses. Now I apply my Beyer filter. 18 of the last 20 Derby winners have had a Beyer speed figure of at least 98 before winning the race. The streak was 17 straight years until two of the last three winners didn't measure up. But I still think this is a useful screening device.
The biggest horse eliminated here is Union Rags. His fastest Beyer of his career is 95 and that just doesn't fit the traditional speed profile of a Derby winner. NBC Sports horse-racing expert Randy Moss explained during the week that Union Rags' numbers need to be put in perspective because he had to run very wide during his losses and with a better trip he would've put up the required number. That makes sense, but he didn't hit the number even in the races he won so I have to toss him as my winner.
Other horses who don't meet this threshold are:
- Take Charge Indy
- I'll Have Another
- Went the Day Well
That leaves me with seven horses. Now the fun begins.
I eliminate Creative Cause because his trainer says he doesn't like to be crowded and that seems inevitable during this race. Also he hasn't trained particularly well this week.
I toss Alpha because he acted up the in the gate last time here and will be first to load. I don't like that combo.
As much as I like local trainer Dale Romans, I can't bet Dullahan because his three races on dirt are 3rd, 8th and 4th. I like his closing style but he seems like more of a grass/synthetic horse. But this is one where I wouldn't mind being wrong!
I'm gonna eliminate Daddy Nose Best because I'm not sure who he's beaten. Plus 8 races as a 2-year is far from the normal race background of recent champs.
I'm very tempted by El Padrino at a good price but he seems just slightly less impressive than my final two.
Bodemeister is the fastest horse in the race and if he runs anything close to his race in the Arkansas Derby he'll be your winner... that race was epic! But I think the speed duel up front will ultimately cause him to go out too fast. Plus he never raced as a two-year old which is one of the few Derby no-no's still out there. He's a horse who either wins or doesn't finish top five and I'm going to reluctantly go with the latter. So that leaves only one horse left...
Gemologist is my selection to win the 2012 Kentucky Derby. He's unbeaten in five lifetime races and that includes two victories around two turns here at Churchill Downs. His speed figures have improved every race and trainer Todd Pletcher says he still has something in the tank to get even better. His mid-pack running style fits the race and I really liked his finish in the Wood Memorial... when Alpha came up on him, Gemologist refused to lose. That's an attitude that will serve him well here.
Gemologist is like Boise State football in that his record is great but people question who he's beaten. I get that criticism but I think that in general unbeaten horses do well in the Derby. 22 horses have entered the race without a loss and 7 have won. That's 32%! Not too shabby. Meanwhile 13 of those horses finished in the money. That's 59%!!
So I'll take Gemologist on top. As for filling out my exotics, I'm going to include Union Rags simply because the trainers on the backside have been nearly unanimous that he's the best horse in the race. They know more than me so I'll trust them. I'll also use I'll Have Another, Daddy Nose Best and El Padrino.
For the record, my official predicted order of finish is:
2. Union Rags
3. I'll Have Another
4. Daddy Nose Best
5. El Padrino
Good luck at the windows!
This site is interesting. It tries to handicap the Derby by breaking down the horses from a psychological basis... trying to figure out which horse is mentally strongest. I don't know if I'm buying but it is interesting reading:
each year the Lexington Herald-Leader asks statewide media to list their "Kentucky Sportsman of the Year".
here was my ballot for this year:
we're halfway through the season and it's time to update our All-Area team, where we pick the top five players, regardless of position.
just as a reminder, here was the pre-season team:
Chane Behanan, UofL
Anthony Davis, UK
Terrence Jones, UK
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, UK
Cody Zeller, IU
and now that 20 or so games have been played, here's my new list (as always, in alphabetical order):
Isaiah Canaan, Murray St
Anthony Davis, UK
Gorgui Deing, UofL
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, UK
Cody Zeller, IU
you may be surprised not to see Terrence Jones make the list, but Dieng averages only a point less per game and has more rebounds, blocks and steals, plus he's a better shooter from the field and the FT line, so he gets the nod. and how can you leave Murray's Canaan off the list?
disagree with any of my picks? feel free to make comments below...
Obviously Rick Pitino has his strengths and his weaknesses as a coach. Where does "player development" fall on the spectrum? Those who say it is a weakness point to the regression of Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith, who seemed to get worse the longer they were in the program. Those who say it is a strength point to players like Ellis Myles and Kyle Kuric. I'd like to discuss Kuric.
photo courtesy www.CardChronicle.com
My fellow Clear Channel host Drew Deener ("The Early Birds", weekdays 7-10am on 790WKRD) has referenced Kuric multiple times as an example of Pitino's player development skills. In fact this morning, he sent out a tweet that said "U can call and tell me this team is underperforming. But if u call and tell me Kyle Kuric hasn't developed, I'm definitely gonna unload on u". That got me thinking... what exactly about Kuric's game has developed? He came in with the reputation of a decent shooter and good rebounder for his size with sneaky athleticism, but had trouble creating his own shot and couldn't really get to the rim. What has changed from that description? How is his game different from when he arrived?
I realize that Kuric has gone from borderline walk-on to potential all-Big East player, but is that about DEVELOPMENT? Or is it simply about getting more PLAYING TIME? I decided to break down some numbers. The chart below ranks Kyle on 10 statistical categories over the course of his college career. Most importantly, I broke down the major stats on per-minute basis, to see if there was a noticeable improvement in performance during his time at UofL.
As you can tell, Kyle's numbers on a per-minute basis have NOT noticeably improved throughout the course of his college career. In fact, there isn't a statistical category other than minutes where he's at his best as a senior... and only two where he was at his best as a junior. More troubling, in both rebounds-per-minute and 3-point percentage, he's having his **worst** season as a senior.
Certainly Kyle passes the "eye test" when it comes to improvement -- he definitely LOOKS like he's a better player than when he arrived and he's a more confident one as well. But the numbers call into question exactly what about his game has developed since he became a Cardinal. It appears the gains in his numbers are just a function of being on the court more.
I'm not making the case that Rick can't develop players... only that perhaps using Kuric as an example might not be the best way to go. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section.
I got a TON of emails on Tuesday night after the UofL loss to Providence. I read many of them on the air but not all. so I'm reprinting every email I received, unedited and in the order I got them. enjoy!
Was that a promise when Pitino said he wouldn't coach after his contract is up? What a bad product to sell to the public.
After U of L's abysmal game tonight, I'm thinking of taking Coach Pitino's advice and start drinking more wine and going to bed earlier. Do you have any good books you'd recommend I read to pass the time? And please don't say Rebound Rules: The Art of Success 2.0.
I have never called or emailed but am a season ticket paying fed up fan.
Anyway, in 11 yrs Pitino has yet to come close to putting point guard in NBA. I am very curious to see what UNC. UK. KU DUKE etc have done. Not siva or sosa problem... Pitino system problem Bottom line is Pitino has lost ability to get top talent and consistently produce offense.
All that coupled with numerous miscommunication such as he will be out all season, UL will never be out of top 10, xyz player is not ready, so in so doesn't know scouting report (who cares, can he play and SCORE!).
Grade for 11 yrs when we all were thinking championship when plane landed 11 yrs ago. C- a gift
Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Brett Farve. All of these men were the best in their sport when they were in their prime. But all of these men could not retire when they should have, and tried to stay in their sport much longer than they should have.
So my question is... IS Rick Pitno in the same position? He was great in his prime, but his prime is past and it's time to move on?
... Turns out Karen Sypher is the lucky one. She doesn't get to watch Pitino-ball in the penetentiary!!!!!!
To me it seemed like Rick the game away for Providence in honor of his 1987 Final Four. His tie was gray and black, Providence colors. Pitino's body language and expressions even seemed different. Its like he gave up coaching going into the second half. Its ironic that yesterday during his press conference he was going on about how his Providence team made him believe he can come back from any deficit and yet tonight he gave up coaching the guys in the first half. He sat on the bench most of the game like a bump on a log.
Lachlan Rick has lost this team his negativity is ridiculous. I believe his system is wearing on the guys especially siva. When siva made that 5th foul I knew the team was fully done. I'm tired of the excuses 1 final four in 11 years doesn't cut it and 12 tourney wins total doesn't either. Before the season it was elite 8 an as cardinal fans we should stick with that. If people believe think Rick is guaranteed to be here then your wrong if Denny can get forced out so can Rick.
It's obvious Rick's prime has past him by. Once upon a time Michael Jordan was the best player in the game but he did not know when it was time to move on; I believe that's where Rick Pitno finds himself now. He was great in his prime, but his prime has past.
Pitino's favorite quote: "players and fans live in a microwave society". May be true, but I don't recall a microwave taking 10 years to cook anything....
Hey Lach, What will the Louisville fans think when Ky. plays in the Yum center in the NCAA and U of L plays at Freedom Hall on the Ky. painted floor in the NIT.
The Louisville offense looks like a Gillispie offense with Siva playing the role of Joe Crawford running into the lane and praying that he either gets fouled or finds an opening.
Tubby had this problem at Kentucky. He got good players but they didnt always amount to their full potential. Tubby wanted his style no matter what and ruined a guy like Rajon Rondo that liked to go full speed but instead had to play the half court offense. Rick seems to be doing this with his players. He wants his style no matter what even if its at the expense of a win. This was borderline Gardner Webb for Louisville and with all the players getting hurt im beginning to wonder if Billy Gillispie snuck in the door somewhere.
He has no plays on offense the game has flew by him, hes got to go. This is not an ncaa team and hes got knocked out in the first round two years running if they make it, it will be 3 years. Thats the truth. Kragthorpe jr. He has got to go
Please take perspective on this year's team. Dieng is still learning the game of basketball. Buckles knee has never fully healed from his initial injury. Siva is forcing things as well as R. Smith doing the same. We are seeing now how much Preston Knowles meant to this squad. Our fan base got excited off a weak pre Big East schedule. Quit trying to campaign aganist 19 and 20 year kids who play their hearts out every night. They just aren't finding chemistry. This team requires a team meeting by Kuric and C. Smith to discuss putting their heads together to right the course of the ship. Let Pitino shake up the lineup and things may come with letting Siva come off the bench and start Russ Smith again. Pitino has produced two final Eights and a Final Four in 2005. Being provactive by saying "Pitino is getting negative in his old age" (paraphrased) is just you stirring the pot. He works hard and wants good things. You will being eating crow come March Wahoo. Your alma mater has not seen any Ralph Sampson or Curtis Staples in a few have they.....
Crums last ten years at UL and Pitinos tenure at UL are no different. If he did not do what he did at UK he would not still be at UL. Pitino runs the UL.
I''m a huge fan and I love your show because you cover both teams very well. First off I'm a huge UK fan but at the same time I hate this for UL. Rick has to stop recruiting upper east coast point guards. The reason is the great point guards have developed in other areas and they aren't all from the streets of the Bronx. Not to be a typical cats fan but Rick would have never looked at John Wall since he was from NC. My second point is Rick devolps a game plan and refuses to change whether his team is up 20 or down 20. Honestly he is a better coach than that but he has to be able to "role with the punches." I'm sorry but this is the one and done era. Pinto has to realize that UL is not a premiere acadmic institution nor is it a place where a player that is a one and done wants to play because it's not a place where he will let them play. Coach K can do that becaause he develops players over for years and he has also won a gold medal with pro players in the Olympics. Rick tears them down where they can't handle 4 years at UL. Is Coach Cal the greatest coach? No, he is no, but at the same time he realizes what he has on his squad and he uses them for the time that he has. Thats why he recruits them because he has execpted this time in college basketball and he can deal with that.Take for example, Daniel Orton's year. He was a second string 5 man last year and was a first round pick. Players these days wants the money lets be real and if Rick can't addapt to that then the people of Louisville are going to push him out of the city. If he wants to win THEN PLAY RUSS SMITH he gets them their points. I love your show Lach and I love how you keep a medium in this state.
here's a job description from a Raleigh radio station
POSITION: Sports Radio Producer
99.9 The Fan and 620 The Buzz in Raleigh is looking for our next Super Producer. This is an opportunity to create content in a college sports Mecca.
Yeah… You have to know all the basics like Audio Vault and News Boss and how to run a tight board. If that’s all you do, we have that job posted too, but this one is not for you.
We need someone that is going to eat, drink, live and breathe every aspect of their show. You will be managing the show both on and off the air. You will be bringing ideas to the table that will turn into radio gold, you’ll be running the daily production meeting, you’ll be digging up sound for the hosts to use as exclamation points, and you will book compelling guests and not just guests for the sake of having a guest. Then you’ll will take all this work and put together a show.
Once the show is on the air, you will be charged with keeping the show on track. Make sure the hosts do their teases. Make sure they deliver on their teases. Make sure they use sound. Make sure the show stays on course. You need to be able to produce on the fly. Was there a killer sound byte from the first hour? You need to pull that sound so the host can use it later in the show. Did a topic catch fire, but you have a guest booked for the next segment? Do you have the intestinal fortitude to tell that guest that we will have to re-book him?
When the show is over, you’ll be pulling the best audio to make sure a killer promo is produced, and then you will be in the PD’s office telling him why he needs to run the heck out of it. Then you’ll start to work on the next show.
Can you play social media like a fiddle?
Are your hosts booked for remotes or appearances? You will be the point person. You need to be on top of everything that happens with your show. You’ll also be asked to cover games and contribute to the region’s top website WRALSportsFan.com.
Does reading this gets you fired up? Are you the type of person that loves making great radio? Do you live for seeing those PPM numbers pop up on the screen? If so, you have a shot to be our next producer.
All candidates must apply online at www.cbc-raleigh.com.
Every year we name our annual All-Area team, the five best players REGARDLESS OF POSITION. Then we update the list at mid-season and at the end of the year. This year a few games had been played before we compiled the list so it's technically not a "pre-season" list, but it's close enough:
(Names in alphabetical order)
Chane Behanan, UofL
Anthony Davis, UK
Terrence Jones, UK
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, UK
Cody Zeller, IU
Other contenders who just missed out included UK's Marquis Teague and Doron Lamb, UofL's Peyton Siva and Murray State's Isaiah Canaan.
Do you have objections to the list? Did we leave someone out? Make your case in the comments section below.