Rumor & Innuendo (01-25-2006)

A test of Caracter.
What’s the deal with these visions of Brandon Bender that keeping prancin’ round my cerebellum? Perhaps it’s the saga of superduperüberprepster Card recruit Derrick Caracter. He’s the big load who allegedly will be the second coming of Wes Unseld. Seems like the kid is intent on sampling as many high schools as he can, all the while testing the limits of the coaching staff at each stop. The buzz around Freedom Hall before the UConn game was that U of L’s next great future pivot dude had been kicked off, or, walked off the team at his latest stop, Notre Dame Prep. Some versions had him kicked out of school, and that the young scholar-athlete was scouting for a new place to matriculate. Something happened and we’re not sure what it is. But all’s well that ends well. So it appears. Caracter and his coach, it is said, have kissed and made up. As for the kid’s grades, and future collegiate eligibility, well … stay tuned.

The Lost Legend.
Hey, I loved Cawood Ledford as much as the next hoopaholic. The sportscaster was top shelf, especially when calling games that didn’t involve his beloved Cats. And he was dapper and a gentleman’s gentleman. But before Cawood there was Claude Sullivan, the voice of the UK network for years including the season of Rupp’s Runts. Many time award-winner Sullivan was precise and mellifluous. The guy could paint a picture of the game. Can somebody explain how and why he’s become a non-person in the realm of Big Blue basketball tradition?

Freedom Hall tradition.
The Rick really got the faithful pumped Saturday night with his pre-game pep talk heralding the tradition of college hoops’ most hallowed hall. (OK, there’s the Palestra and Pauley Pavilion, but work with me here.) Anyway, during one raucous time-out, the UConn SID turns to me and says, “This is the best atmosphere in the Big East.” So, in an off season on the court, at least the Cards got that goin’ for them.