I picked the wrong night to go with the family over to Disney. We've got the seasonal passes and the blackout dates are coming, so we went over later afternoon, hit the Animal and Magic kingdoms, enjoyed the unusually short lines and got home at like 12:15. Of course, Stan Heath's hired a coach.
I'm a big proponent of the idea that if you can't report something yourself and somebody you can trust is reporting it, humble up and give them the attribution. So by 12:30, I'd filed quick notes -- think they sneaked (not snuck) in under our last deadline -- saying that the Lexington Herald-Leader was reporting that former Kentucky assistant Reggie Hanson had joined Heath's staff at USF, and that USFnation.com's Josh Newberg, breaking news of a commitment for the second night in a row, had reported that Wharton tight end Andreas Shields was the Bulls' third commit for 2008.
I'd first heard Hanson's name about three weeks ago, had been able then to get a message to him through UK's basketball office, and I get a call from the dreaded "Private" phone number. Hanson was hesitant to say much then and didn't want to give me a number where I could reach him. That, combined with him not latching on elsewhere, kept him in the back of my head in terms of candidates. I'd left a message Thursday with another unsigned Tubby assistant, Scott Rigot (and it's rih-zhoh, not like spigot, or lego), who had put his name in as a candidate for the main USF job before Heath got it, to check up on him and Hanson. Reggie's a strong hire, having played at Kentucky and coached under Smith for six seasons. "There's a lot of work to do," he told the Herald-Leader. "I don't mind working."
On the recruiting front, Newberg's on a tear. And three commits for the Bulls nine months before signing day is not typical USF -- Jim Leavitt's going out on some limbs and offering kids that don't have much in the way of offers, hoping the early loyalty will keep them from backing out after a strong senior year and committing elsewhere. Definitely more of a gamble than we're used to seeing, but the last two were both local kids and Leavitt takes a lot of pride in keeping the connections with area programs strong and active.
OK, there's no tired like Disney tired, even if it's just a half day over there, so I'm calling it a night. Keep the questions and comments coming, with posts here and e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org, and remind me Friday to go old-school with a Scott McCready update from NFL Europa. (And are we playing football on other planets' moons now? What next? "AF3: Ganymede"?