On This Date In UK History

Special Thanks To Big Blue Booyah

August 24th

ya boy Tayshaun Prince single-handedly took home the gold for the Americans in the Beijing Olympics. His six crucial points, two critical rebounds, and 100% shooting on the night paced Uncle Sam's team. Semi-stars Dwayne Wade (27 points), Kobe Bryant (20 points) and Lebron James (14 points) played key supporting roles in regaining the title of World Dominators. The Americans took control early and held on as the Spaniards made a late run but couldn't get over the hump. Final score 118-107. The two teams had played earlier in the Olympics and Team USA destroyed Spain by 37 points. Prince became the most recent in a long line of University of Kentucky gold medal winners, joining Adolph Rupp and Tubby Smith. Who would've thought the skinny little kid from Compton would end up being one of the greatest Kentucky players in his generation, much less a gold medal winner. Tayshaun making us proud. Speaking of pride, something tells me Tayshaun had his puppies set off the bus.

August 23rd

the University of Kentucky announced plans to retire all-time great Dermontti Dawson's #57 jersey. The event would take place during Kentucky's first game vs. Louisville, September 1, 2001. Dawson was a product of Lexington's own Bryan Station High School, where he was an all-state lineman. A four-year letterman at UK, Dawson played both guard and center while in blue and was a part of the 1984 Hall of Fame Championship team. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted the All-SEC lineman in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft. Dawson's NFL career lasted 13 seasons, all with the Steelers, included seven Pro Bowls, and contained a 170 consecutive game playing streak. Not currently an NFL Hall of Famer, Dawson points to one man being the key to his success on the field and in life.......former Kentucky head coach Jerry Claiborne. The discipline and character he received under Claiborne's tutelage led him to be a pillar in every community to this day. Someone please get this Kentucky great in the Hall of Fame.

August 22nd

a 6-4 guard from Peachtree City, Georgia, committed to play for the University of Kentucky. Head coach Rick Pitino compared Jeff Sheppard to two all-time greats. He said Sheppard "shoots like Kyle Macy and jumps like Rex Chapman." Pitino couldn't have been more spot on with his description. Shep was a part of the ridiculous 1996 team, redshirted during the 1997 season that got to the NCAA Finals, and was named the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player during the 1998 title run.

August 21st

former University of Kentucky wide receiver Jeff Piecoro was named the new analyst for the UK football radio network, replacing Jeff Van Note. Piecoro began his broadcasting career with Lexington's WTVQ fresh out of college in 1985. From 1992-95, he was the weekend sports anchor for WLEX. Jeff is currently the play-by-play voice for the University of Cincinnati men's basketball team. As is that wasn't enough he handles the pre and post game shows for the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds. To top it off, he has a morning sports talk radio show on the Homer and does play-by-play for the AFL's Columbus Destroyers. Jeff currently lives in Villa Hills, KY, with his wife and three children. The duo of Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro are two of the best in the business and paint a great image for Big Blue Nation on the radio.

August 20th

Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks was born in Forest, California. The path to 2009 wasn't the easiest a coach has ever been though as Tom Leach notes in the book above. Rich's time in Lexington has been anything but rosy. But we have to remember Rich Brooks came to us when no one else would....in the midst of an NCAA death penalty. I'll be the first to admit I was ready to part ways multiple times during PaPaw's first few years. And I'll be the first to admit I was wrong. At the end of the day it's still all about wins and losses, and Brooks still totes a 39-47 record in Lexington. But any Big Blue Nation member who has been around the program in the last three years can vouch for this program being in arguably the best shape in their lifetime. Rich Brooks has simply changed the culture in Lexington. And while many people may not like to hear it, Mitch Barnhart deserves as much credit for sticking with Brooks as he does blame for the other mess. Rich Brooks has succeeded and done what few others could do at Kentucky: make Big Blue Nation Believe.

August 19th

even though Louisville native Derek Anderson had decided to transfer from Ohio State, it was anything but a given he would be going to Kentucky. The Wildcats didn't have any scholarships to offer Anderson anyway. Even the assistant-SID was quoted as saying, "There's not going to be an association between Kentucky and him." Anderson said he would not walk-on and since there were no scholarships available, he would need to move on. Enter Scott Padgett's bad grades. Suddenly, the big blue frowns turned upside down. The decision is reversed and D.A. comes to Lexington. Padgett's loss was Derek's gain. Anderson would be able to be an active member on the greatest team ever. The '96ers.

August 18th

Kentucky coach HYPERLINK "http://cache.gawker.com/assets/stills/pitinoscandal_deadspin.flv.jpg" Rick Pitino was ejected from an exhibition game in Italy while touring with the greatest team ever. It was a game the Cats would eventually lose, 123-115, to Montecatini. The loss was the first on the Exhibition Tour of Italy. The HYPERLINK "http://www.geekalerts.com/u/mario-luigi-costumes.jpg" Italian referees whistled your University of Kentucky Wildcats for 42 fouls, Montecatini for 33. After falling behind 100-77, the Cats made a huge comeback, only to fall short at the end. Making only 38 of 100 shots didn't help anything either. I'm guessing the extra practice didn't hurt when molding the greatest college basketball team ever assembled. Years later, that same coach would continue his "strange-acting ways" in some of Louisville's finest eateries.


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August 24th, 2008
ya boy Tayshaun Prince single-handedly took home the gold for the Americans...
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