There's not a whole lot happening in Texas sports right now, which means the offseason flavor will start to become more pronounced at this site. We've got the rest of the baseball season to savor, but beyond that, it's slim pickins. Hope you're ready to digress a little with me.
There was a curious note yesterday from Orangebloods.com's basketball writer, Gerry Hamilton (who I think is excellent, by the way). Gerry posted a bulletin saying he'd just spoken to an "NBA source" who told him that Durant was feeling like he's "not ready" for the next level yet. Gerry went on to say that the decision was still something that would be decided by the Durant family sometime in the future.
The note sent the OB board into a frenzy, of course, but I posted it there, and I'll reiterate it here: Gerry seems to be a bit behind on this one. His last note on Durant, filed a week earlier, was about how KD was in Suitland with his family and that the money Nike was going to offer would be "very, very hard to beat." Now, I understand Gerry wants to play things cautiously, and it's certainly prudent to do so, but all the writing on the wall has pointed toward a Durant return.
In any case, I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill here, but I did want to note that "He's leaning toward staying" is now the established baseline. We're really at the point now where the big news is "I'm staying" or "I'm leaving." In other words: the waiting game is on. No matter how much we want to believe KD is thinking about staying, we're stuck until a decision becomes official.
A brief word on Billy Donovan and the Kentucky head coach search. For one thing, Texas fans need to pay attention to this situation. Why? Because Rick Barnes will be on the short list of names Kentucky officials will consider if they can't get Donovan to leave Gainesville. We're a long way from having to talk about this seriously, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
The other thing I wanted to note is that everything I'm seeing in Billy Donovan's meetings with the press leads me to believe he's going to think about a move very, very carefully. He's not denying anything, or making any definitive statements about staying at Florida. He's just dodging the issue artfully right now. That tells me he's going to think long and hard about leaving. My gut says he's gone. [UPDATE: Donovan has announced he will not interview with Kentucky and is staying at Florida. So much for my gut feeling. Is it now time to talk about Rick Barnes?]
One last note on coaching searches: with John Beilein leaving West Virginia for Michigan, could Kansas State head coach Bob Huggins, a West Virginia alum, think about throwing his hat into the ring? It's certainly possible, and worth keeping an eye on. You'd have to think that would be a "dream job" of sorts. Of course, with the recruits he has coming to Manhattan next year, he may not be in any rush to make a move. We'll see.
Last, but not least, there was one bit of Texas news yesterday: Tiffany Jackson was drafted with the fifth pick of the WNBA Draft by the New York Liberty. Congrats to Tiffany - she was a great Longhorn and deserves the recognition.