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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Recognize Just How Special the Freshman Are


This guy averaged less than 5ppg his freshman season.  Was it the talent around him or are the freshman of today just better?

Thought I would give just a little more positive slant on what has been a depressing few days around UK basketball land.  I think we have become almost too comfortable by the amazing play of the UK freshman over the last 2 seasons.  The string of 2 classes that we have been fortunate enough to enjoy is something that is truly unprecedented at Kentucky, and likely in college basketball.  Realize that over the past 2 seasons, Coach Cal has had 6 freshman average over 10 ppg (Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Knight, Lamb, Jones).  Since Kentucky came off probation in 1991-92, there were only TWO freshman that averaged double figures their first year before Cal arrived, Keith Bogans and Patrick Patterson.  Just to emphasize how rare it is for a freshman to be super-successful, look at some notable players of the past 20 years and their freshman scoring averages:

Terrence Jones (2011): 17.9 ppg
Brandon Knight (2011): 17.1 ppg
John Wall (2010): 16.7 ppg
Patrick Patterson (2008): 16.4 ppg
Demarcus Cousins (2010): 15.1 ppg
Doron Lamb (2011): 14.1 ppg
Keith Bogans (2000): 12.5 ppg
Eric Bledsoe (2010): 11.3 ppg
______________________________
Rod Rhodes (1993): 9.1 ppg
Randolph Morris (2005): 8.8 ppg
Jodie Meeks (2007): 8.7 ppg
Rajon Rondo (2005): 8.1 ppg
Ron Mercer (1996): 8.0 ppg
Antoine Walker (1995): 7.8 ppg
Gerald Fitch (2001): 6.5 ppg
Chuck Hayes (2002): 5.9 ppg
Tayshaun Prince (1999): 5.8 ppg
Darius Miller (2009): 5.3 ppg
Jamaal Magloire (1998): 4.9 ppg
Tony Delk (1993): 4.6 ppg
Wayne Turner (1996): 4.5 ppg
Ramel Bradley (2005): 4.4 ppg
Kelenna Azubuike (2003): 3.7 ppg
Joe Crawford (2005): 3.2 ppg
Jeff Sheppard (1994): 3.1 ppg
Cliff Hawkins (2001): 3.0 ppg
Anthony Epps (1994): 2.0 ppg
Scott Padgett (1995): 2.0 ppg
Bobby Perry (2004): 1.3 ppg

Now, I only write this to further the point that we should not stress so much about this team, or even the last.  We should enjoy the amazing run of talent that has come through Lexington.  Some could argue that Coach Cal had no choice but to play the freshman as much as he has the last 2 years, but I would argue those would have been the best guys on the team no matter what.  Let’s say John Wall was on the roster with Anthony Epps as a senior, who do you think would have been the starter?  I would argue Wall.   

Whatever the case, continue supporting this team.  Do not give up of these guys, including the freshman.  They are ultra-talented, and I still believe that if they can click, they have enough to make it to Houston.  I hold out hope.  I hope you do too.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

92 responses to “BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Recognize Just How Special the Freshman Are”

  1. Tubby's gopher

    1st

  2. LB

    I know it was 1990-1991, but Mashburn was the best of them all. Averaged 13 in his freshman season, had he played for Cal, probably would have averaged 20.

  3. old-school

    The freshmen are no doubt talented – but they’re putting up the big numbers because there’s no one else to put up those numbers.

    Nolan Smith at Duke is a very talented player – but his average as a freshman was about 5 points a game, increasing to 9 points as a sophomore, 17 as a junior and is now 21 as a senior. – That’s a natural progress.

    Is he more talented today than he was as a freshman? No. But he’s more skilled, polished and experienced.

    We get blown away by simple numbers put up by our frosh – but that’s because we have an unhealthy program – that goes back to Gillispie’s lack of recruiting – and admittedly – a less than stellar last couple of classes by Tubby.

    But a healthy program does not ask so much of it’s freshmen.

    Your point about Wall is well taken – occassionally there will come a guy like Wall who simply will star as a first-year player – but 90 percent of freshmen are best served (as are the programs) when they can be groomed, mentored and brought along gradually – like Smith at Duke.

    UK simply hasn’t been able to afford to do that the last few years, and Calipari’s recruiting strategy doesn’t seem designed to rectify that problem either.

  4. Tubby's gopher

    3) It’s going to take a couple years for Cal to shape the roster due to the Clyde and Tubster’s recruiting.

  5. Zulu

    3 – Is that all you talk about? We get it. You hate Cal. I think it is time to break out a fresh argument. Saying the same thing over and over and over and over is unhealthy, and quite frankly, annoying.

  6. jason

    WTF! BOBBY PERRY? Why is he even on this list? WOW

  7. UKWildcats86

    3) You know you could always follow duke. Can you give me someone else that supports your argument? probably not many. Seriously name 5 guards you’d rather have running your team right now over Knight. And btw we’re 41-8 with cal behind the helm so far. I dont understand what you want from the guy.

  8. big blue

    BTI- Are you sure those are Bobby Perry’s freshman stats and not his senior year? Never saw any production, except for a couple of games in March from one of the goofier looking UK players of all time.

  9. Tubby's gopher

    8) Why all the hate?

  10. Dustin Cordell

    #3 Wall is not the only special player that would have started anywhere, you can throw Cousins into that mix also.

  11. J hood

    7) 42-7?

  12. Well Said BTI

    BTI – This is the most well thought out and coherant post you’ve ever submitted. I commend you on pulling your head out of your a$$ long enought to write it.

  13. Laker Cat 18

    If you like Duke. Cheer for Duke. It’s as simple as that.

  14. Typical BTI stat analysis

    Use points per minute, not points per game. Better yet, use offensive efficiency. Obviously this year’s freshmen are playing so many more minutes than Tony Delk played per game. It’s not even worth comparing.

  15. What?

    #7…let’s not start on the “we’re 41-8 with cal” talk…Tubbys win percentage was outstanding as well…still, other than one title the first year, nothing to show for it!

    Cal has 5+ 30 win seasons in a row…nother coach has ever done that yet he too has nothing to show for those wins…no national title or Final 4.

    Point being for #3 is without a few 2 and 3 year guys to develop and grow within the program, UK will win a ton of games but the likely scenario of winning it all will never come.

    I understand the point…

    Alos Cal talks about not repeating the same mistakes over and over to his players…he went on and on about that a few weeks back yet he’s still brining in 3 and 4 one and done guys with no 2 and 3 year guys year after year. He’s not listening to himself and seeing his own mistakes!

    I love the talent UK is bringing in since Cal arrived…but we need good 2 and 3 year guys to support the freshmen and as of now, UK doesn’t have that. A result he’s faced with due to bad recruiting over the previous 3 or 4 years.

    Add in the fact that the guys he did recruit and bring in…Hood, Poole, etc…have not even gotten the change to play and he himself said he hadn’t spent the time to develop them until recently when he started doing some one on one practice.

    It is what it is…but without 2 and 3 year guys, we’ll have talent, we’ll win a ton of games but the national title will not come for this club ever!

  16. deer boss

    16…maybe the new NBA CBA will allow us to have 2-3 year stars.

  17. old-school

    The 2003 team whose clip is posted on this site today would have beaten last year’s squad and wuold have demolished this year’s team.

    Is it because of sheer talent level? No

    It’s because of depth and experience – two things Calipari’s system of one and dones will not develop at UK.

    Would a Eric Daniels, Maquis Estill or Chuck Hayes come to UK to play for Cal today? Number one, they wouldn’t likely be recruited by Cal because they were projected as NBA-caliber players. They were considered solid recruits – but why would a solid recruit want to come to UK these days when he realizes that there’s a great chance Cal will recruit over him and bring in some 18-year-old phenom?

    Face it UK fans – the days of getting solid players and watching them develop and grow into great ones are over.

    Our world is now one of hopeing 18-year-olds can take us to the promise land, then we’ll wave good bye to them after 8 months, and welcome in a new batch.

  18. Tubby's gopher

    16) Please…learn how to spell before commenting!

  19. jason

    thank you #8

  20. Beavis

    How about you wait until after this year to see if Cal has 2nd year players left? Until then STF up crying about a situation he inherited.
    Hood was a token white Kentucky there guy, everyone knows that.

  21. bluesince66

    Glad someone brought up Mash, because a list of outstanding freshmen without him on it is incomplete at best. Nolan Smith is more talented as a senior simply because he’s stronger than he was as a freshman. Our program was on life support when Cal got here, so while dissapointed with a few of our losses this year I’m pretty happy with the over health of the program.

  22. Coach Cal Can't Coach

    I would never argue the talent level of these freshmen that Cal is bringing in. I will point out that this all means nothing if we never get to see them as sophmores. Let’s face it, winning a title is so tough in the NCAA. That is why we need to keep these guys around to increase our chances. Calapari pushed kids to the NBA, stop living in denial. It is the truth.

  23. kyrobman

    I don’t understand, we complain when we don’t have the talent rolling in the door now we complain when we do have the talent. So what should Cal do? Recruit average players and have a bad record for 2 or 3 years until the guys mature? Within the next couple years we will have an older class and he will not have to hake superfrosh to lead the team. You have to rotate your crop, but right now he has to build a crop up due to the situation he was left with. For all you so called FAN’s if you don’t like pull for Loserville and his average team.

  24. voice of reason

    I like Joker a lot as a person. I liked Bill Curry a lot as a person.

    Rivals has listed its top 50 recruiting classes and UK did not make the list.

    I normally shy away from the star rankings and whatnot. I believe players can be developed..especially in football. But, considering we play in the SEC, it is a necessity we recruit well enough to at least be placed in the top 50 (need to be in the top 15).

    Joker is our guy and I will support him. But we need to get our act together quickly.

  25. Canadian Mountme

    Bobby Perry??? Really???

  26. kyrobman

    23) How do you get Pushed?

  27. mudcat

    16. You said the national title will not come for this club ever. That is a big statement. Would you have said the same thing if this years team had Orton or Kanter? Cal was caught between a rock and a hard place when Orton left and gambled with Kanter and Vargas. Both were misses. We are one big body away from a legit top 5 team. I don’t want to hear about Hood and Poole, they are not playing this year and will not play next year. I wish they would get a little more playing time, but I am not at practice and behind those doors. This team is not playing well and win will cure a lot of nay-sayers. Another loss… and Lord help us all, the world will end! Go Cats!

  28. Is it 10 o'clock yet

    Wow…where’s the usual negativity in this post?

  29. Budweiser

    Not sure if anyone has commented on this yet, but here is my “Tipton like” review of what BTI posted. Comparing our current freshmen to Dub Zero is difficult to do considering the rules for entering the NBA Draft have changed since then. Wall, Knight (maybe), Jones, Cousins could have gone pro straight out of HS, but couldn’t given the current rules. How do you think Kobe Bryant or Garnett or Lebron James would compare? I know its a stretch to compare our current guys to those studs, but I’m just sayin.

    One rule remains the same……….BTI Sucks.

  30. Stew McGoo

    How is football going? You guys were set to have a good class three weeks ago….. What’s that, your two biggest recruits ditched you?……. Your best QB is transferring? You have a coach…. Named Joker? Yeah, but you have that Tee Martin coming in and cleaning house on the recruiting trail, right? Oh, he didn’t do anything for you? Like, he didn’t recruit a single 4 star commit? Why the pay raise then? Oh, it’s probably because he prepared Newton so well in the bowl game, right? Oh Newton threw like a bazillion picks and looked terrible while losing to a terrible team in the bowl game??? Oh. Do you guys even know what football is? No? OK. I won’t bother you anymore.

  31. jason

    #18. this year yes. Last year NO! Remember D-Wade? One guy beat that team, and please don’t say “Bogans was hurt”!

  32. mudcat

    23) Coach Cal can’t coach….really? He didn’t push Orton to the NBA, that is why their relationship was bumpy. Did Cousins improve over the course of the year? Was Harrelson’s emergence all on his own? He hasn’t gotten to Miller yet and I don’t know if it is possible. Liggins improvement, Coach Cal or what?

  33. claw

    If you have doubts about our current coach’s ability to motivate the players, I suggest you take one minute and nineteen seconds to listen to this again. Now this is how you motivate players. LOL *Not suitable for work.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw7KijRfU-c

  34. KYBLUE

    16 cal didnt recruit hood. Now i believe Galloway could have really helped this team that is the only mistake i feel he would take back.

  35. UK Fan 25

    Liggins has no offensive game.

  36. KYBLUE

    Could have ran KG at the point, night at the two, liggins or lamb at the 3, jones, miller harrelson at the 4,5.

  37. KYBLUE

    36 he is good off the bounce and has a nice 3 point shot when SET, but he is out there for D.

  38. M. Vick

    Not really sure Bobby Perry belongs on that list.

  39. cracka

    76ers are 11-22 when meeks plays 25 min or less and 11-5 when he plays 26+ min

  40. UK Dude

    I’m not going to argue that our talent isn’t, and hasn’t been special under Calipari. But I will say that the numbers are a little off base. You have to remember that Patterson had Bradley and Crawford eating up a big chunk of the points in 2008, while Bogans had a steller supporting cast of upperclassmen chewing up points (and minutes) as well.

    The main scorers on this years team are Freshman because we play 3 Freshman for a majority of the teams overall minute-per-game allocation. This gives them more opportunities to score, coupled in with their raw ability.

    I think that if some of our other Freshman from past UK teams had the amount of minutes allocated to them, coupled in with a limited number of supporting, effective upperclassmen scorers, that their numbers would have been just as good, if not better.

    Just my two cents about these statistics.

  41. Houston_Matt

    35 – Galloway would have graduated last year. The only reason he is still playing this year at TSU is because he had to sit out last year. Unless are you saying he should have been redshirted last year.

  42. UK Dude

    *stellar

  43. KYBLUE

    Ill take the redshirt option last year. Thanks for the other options 42. I forgot he had to sit out.

  44. ebell55

    In hind sight Cal should have redshirted Perry Stevens. With that said let’s look at the players he let go Pilgram has serious issues good move! Galloway isn’t burning it up were ever he is! The other guy AJ or whatever his name is has bounced from small school to small school all good moves by coach Cal! What I like about Cal is he is a stand up guy! He could have been selfish and talked Cusins into comming back but Cal makes Millions and knew it was the right think to advise Cuz to go get paid! Patterson could have come back but he had his degree and also was a lottery pick! Wall was a no brianer as he was the first overall pick and Bledsoe just didn’t like school and left while the getting was good! I don’t see Lamb or Knight going pro this year! Jones will be a lottery pick but he needs to come back but I won’t blame him if he cashes in! Cal has done an outstanding job we just couldn’t throw it in the ocean against WVU! This is a transition year and we are still one of the top 15 teams in the country! Go Cats!!!

  45. J hood

    21) stfu! duke recruited the hell out of me and if i went there, where they know a layup counts the same points as a dunk, i would be playing with a bunch of smart kids for a title right now!!!

  46. 3 fan

    Guys, you have to remember the rules have changed. When Mash was a freshman, you had to wait 3 years to declare. Now its one and done so you don’t get Wall and Cousins for 3 years. Orton (the idiot) is the perfect example of WHY you have to play the freshmen.

  47. One N Doners

    Exactly, see #30.

  48. Byron

    46- then why haven’t you scored any layups when you’ve been in?

  49. Al's Indicats

    REALLY????? Some of these arguements are absurd, Everybody gets the one and dones, with the exception of maybe Dook, and that’s because Rat Face will shun him for life he if he leaves early.

    Noone saw Orton leaving early, and had he been smart he should’ve stayed because he would’ve been a beast this year, but he saw Cuz leave early and believed what his pop said so……

    Cal will bring in the 2, 3, 4 year guys, I’m sure of it. Some of our memories are still a little clouded, Tubby was burned out his last 3 or 4 years, then here comes Clyde who damn near brought down the BBN in just a few short seasons. Yeah yeah I hear ya we lost to Georgia, Bama, and Old Miss, but…..It wasn’t on our own floor, and for the sake of all whats HOLY it wasn’t a VMI.

    Relax, our ship isn’t sinking! It’s taking on a little water right now, but we have more than enough of a crew to bail it out and keep on keeping on.

  50. bung

    Hoods good.

  51. bung

    Heck, Freshman couldnt even play Varsity until the 70’s.

  52. Houston_Matt

    47 – Mash didn’t have to wait a three years. The current one year rule was actually implemented to stop the flow of kids going straight from high school to the NBA. Before the rule you could declare for the draft at anytime. The year Mash came out Chris Webber came out as a sophomore.

  53. poorhartline

    some of it has to do with the offense we run..azuibuike wld have avg more under calapari..he only avg like 13 as a senior bc tubbs had him standing out around the 3 pt line

  54. Houston_Matt
  55. bung

    We settle for the half court offense too often. And we need Chris Webber to call timeouts.

  56. DunkMiser

    I can’t get over all the hate on the site comments. If you don’t like our coach, our players and our TEAM….go root for another team. We don’t need your s**t here. Take your 15 paragraphs of your own narcissism ramblings and LEAVE! GO CATS!! BEAT THE GATORS!!

  57. TheGuyPitinoForgotToPayToGetFreshFishAtPorchinis

    Here’s my take on Epps (Sr.) vs. Wall (Fr.)

    Statistical Analysis http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/29/48294280.png

  58. bung

    Can you imagine Issel’s and Pratt’s numbers playing 4 years.

  59. Realist

    24) Well said! These people complaining will NEVER be satisfied. The future of KY basketball is brighter than it’s ever been.
    18) Cal’s been here a year and a half and you’ve written the program off. Go cheer for someone else. I’m surprised you even have a computer, much less an internet connection.

  60. bung

    One thing about it. We all want the Cats to win.

  61. bluesince66

    Keleena left after his junior year, one of the reasons we sucked that year.

  62. bung

    Hey….i wudnt have a internet connector thing either if my neighbors didnt leave there door unlocked…..

  63. dudeupnorth

    Am I the only one who would take Epps as a senior over Wall as a freshman? One could easily argue that Wall had more talent around him then Epps, but I believe Epps led his team to the champoionship game and had a great deal to do with it. Give it up for Anthony Epps!

  64. bluesince66

    So 64 you’re saying last years team was more talented than the 96 team. You need to go sit in a corner.

  65. ACOTKY

    Nice article, but you have to consider the major difference. The previous freshman were mostly role players or played limited minutes off the bench as a freshman with a few exceptions. Our freshman the last two years ARE the team. Major difference.

  66. Voice of Reason

    Points per minute played their freshman year:
    Cousins = .64
    T. Jones = .60
    A. Walker = .54
    Mashburn = .53
    Knight & Lamb = .49
    Wall & Chapman = .48
    Delk = .47
    Bogans & Rhodes = .45
    Bledsoe = .37

  67. barn

    18-old school–you either live under a rock or are trying to mask your antiCal sentiments with illogical argument. i’m old school too, but player development nowadays in college is way overblown, with the advent of the aau and prep schools, most 5 star freshmen need little preparation for the college game. you are truly out of touch if you think we need a coach who won’t try to recruit the best players that he possibly can. as long as UK gets high caliber players like the ones Cal is bringing in now we’ll be in the hunt each year for another banner.

  68. RICK

    Man have you lost your mind? Do you think a few bad games will get us Ky fans down? Now you have your cry baby fans that will start crying but us true Ky fans dont let this bother us.GO BIG BLUE AND PLEASE STOP CRYING OVER A FEW LOSSES.

  69. bung

    Yeah…its like when does it hurt most. We had D Dawkins and Poodles Willoughy commit to us and went straight to the pro’s from high school. You gotta win with the kids you have every year. Rupp had some disappointments but in 42 years he never lost to Ole Miss.

  70. Esteban

    and always remember that less is more…one post every day or 2 is plenty

  71. old school=old

    64- Seriously? Well I guess one could argue that the moon is made of green cheese but to what end? I loved last year’s team but more talented than ’96…no

  72. Musehobo

    Haha BTI=Pete Thamel. You spin the story which ever way you want in order to make your point. It just so happens I agree with you, we DO need to be appreciative of these freshman, but we don’t need a misrepresented stat line to do it. Others have already said it…most of the previous freshman weren’t getting minutes/relied upon. But hey what does it matter? BTI’s “day won’t be ruined” by UK losing anyway.

  73. Blueneck

    The Wall or Epps question is a good one. I would have still went with Epps as a matter of risk aversion. If Wall turns it over you can still lose. Epps won’t turn it over so you win.

    Sadly, BTI is trying to measure freshmen only based on scoring, which underrates guys like Hayes, Fitch, and Prince.

    Where the heck was Jared Prickett on this list? I assume BTI is too young to remember his freshmen flourish at the end of the year. He is slick Rick’s poster boy for player anti-development.

    But we do need some experienced players, even if it means developing guys like Harrelson not just when they are starters. Look to the bench of that 2003 team and see walk on Ravi Moss and all he contributed later in his career. Don’t need guys like that to take over, just hold the team together and give some depth.

    I will say last year, Wall and Boogie were exceptional freshmen. But without PP to hold things together, we would have lost many more games. Orton is the Great Overrated. I would rather have Jules Camarra than him.

  74. Sheeeeeeiiiit

    Cal is not as dumb as you gay duke fans think he is(if you love duke don’t pretend to be a cat fan too-it’s water and vinegar man). Cal realizes he can’t win a NC with freshmen and no role players. We have role players now. Miller won’t shoot. Liggins can’t shoot. Jorts would be much better coming off the bench. He will recruit better guys in time.
    Look we need to give Cal a real chance to recruit HIS team. If after 4 more years he has not put together a complete team then I will be calling for his head too. But I will NEVER be bithching that we don’t have players like gay duke has. That’s like wishing we had latner instead of Mash. Or hurley instead of Epps.
    This year is our rebuilding year because last year was an anomaly. If last years team wasn’t so great loosing the games we have this year wouldn’t be so hard. But only loosing 3 games gives us the feeling we can do that this year even more shorthanded. It’s not logical and this type of baby bitching is why we ended up with BG. It may also be why Cal leaves early and then what. Back to the coach search and more years of instability.
    If this “greatest fan base ever” keeps this crap up UK will start to suck to coach and play for. You dummies ruin my favorite past time with your crying and impossible expectations…well that would suck. So just relax and support the team if you think you can.

  75. poorhartline

    #16 we have 2 and 3 year guys…there names are darius miller and they aren’t producing. btw knight and lamb by all accounts should stay, w knight getting to play his true position…the 2

  76. secretagent0014

    97)was Epps senior year

  77. secretagent0014

    97 was Epps senior year

  78. Stack

    You know that is all great BTI, and these freshman over the last two years have been studs, but you cant compare it like that. All the talent that has come thru here hasn’t played the same kind of minutes as these freshmen. Not even close. If you take all the greats from the past and substitute them for the 3 freshmen this year, the numbers would be different. Think about it, if Tony Delk took Doron Lamb’s place and got 30 minutes a game…I’m pretty sure he would be averaging 14 ppg too. Especially since he would be one of the few scoring options outside of Knight and Jones. So, nice post but it doesn’t make me feel any better about this team right now. B/c it’s not about the scoring, its about the toughness, killer instinct and the intangibles that make me worry about this squad. And obviously, not having any depth.

  79. Blueneck

    I think we could easily use these numbers to flip this around for the exact opposite comparison to show freshmen scoring indicating a lack of depth instead of just superb freshmen.

    Back to the 2003 team, see Azubuike only averaged 3.7. For those who can remember back that far you remember that he already had the making of a stud he just wasn’t getting the minutes and was a ROLE player. Still he shot 50% from field and 37% from 3PT showing his dead eye touch and good shot selection. He compares well to Lamb of this year. Both outstanding shooters but clearly not PGs. Both better at spotting up than going off dribble. I think Lamb would prefer to be built like KA. But the thing is, Az was only 9th in minutes played despite the fact we could all see how good he already was. That also kept him from making a lot of mistakes that we see our freshmen now making.

    The other thing is that KA learned if he didn’t play defense and rebound he would be on the bench. It’s hard for our freshmen to grasp that since it won’t work out that way for them. Hard to tell a kid to play the team way when everyone knows you aren’t going to bench him and he will be getting paid next year anyway.

  80. steve

    If they CLICK is the whole deal. Jones and to a lesser extent Knight are clicking less together.
    Jones seems bored or tired of the whole deal. Jones doesn’t know whether to pout or grow up when Cal pushes him. We got 5 1/2 players and that’s it. If the rest would do them good i.e Georgia (the second game), I say lose the 1st round of the SEC tournament and hope for the Friday/Sunday regional and then lay it on the line for one, two or three weeks.

  81. Real Cat Fan

    #55 – one thing that stands out to me on that list is the number of players who came out of HS and even freshman year college and went NBA early who were absolute busts. I think the AAU circuit allows a much better assessment of talent nowadays than they had back then.

    Cal does have a tendency to play the first 6 way too much. I understand that he was trying to maximize team development with the freshmen, especially early in the season, but in some of those cupcake games, especially more recent ones like Auburn and LSU where we were up big in the 2nd half, players like Hood, Vargas and Poole should have each seen at least 10 minutes. Sometimes it takes an injury situation like UL is having to force a coach into developing his bench. I sure hope that doesn’t happen to UK, because at this point it would be too late for one of our bench players to take on a major role successfully.

  82. ribin

    Got some good kids – start coaching, quit bashing them in the paper – ‘want them to grow up’, ‘play harder’ , ‘need leadership’, ‘it’s their team’ – coach em, run some others in and out of the game – coach them on the bench and let’s enjoy watching them play – they play like they are worried about what is going to be said after the game –

  83. BigBlueFan31

    This team is average in a very average season. The one and done rule is killing college basketball. If you do not agree with me, I ask this. Do you think a team like Louisville would be ranked at all during the 1996-98 seaons. We beat them by 15 this year. The 1996 team would have beat them by 40+. Anyone can win it all this year.
    Until Cal gets guys that want to stay 3-4 years, we will continue to win 27-30 a year, but I am not so sure you can win a title that way. However, if we could keep Lamb and Knight with next years team…GAME OVER # 8 is here!!

  84. Struggler

    I think the final point is the point… support the team. You can be sure on Sat. that they won’t have Florida’s support. So support them. It’s cool to analyize and even criticize to a point – but be realistic. These are young guys with great demands. Yes – they have all the tools any kid could want to become great – but maturity is not a light-switch you can turn on and off. Support them through the tough times and realize that they are far more aware than we are what is expected of them, what Cal wants/needs from them. Just please – balance your critcism and some very high, but realistic expectations with a huge amount of support. Very rarely have I been “bitched and moaned” into improving. They know what they need to improve, give them a chance to do it. Go cats and BBN.

  85. relax and enjoy

    86) That is excactly right!

  86. Voice of Reason

    Any list of notable freshmen should include Rex Chapman…He would be between Patterson and Cousins on the list you provided.

  87. load testing

    To you guys that keep saying Cal shouldn’t recruit one and done players, or you say he should recruit some 3-4 year players…

    How in the world can anyone know that in advance? Are you so incredibly smart that you can predict Lamb is a one-and-done or if he is two-and-done? You are obviously too impressed with your illogical arguments that you do not care if they are reasonable. You sound like a drunken Alabama fan sitting on a bar stool of a beer depot pontificating on the mechanics of quantum physics. Everybody else knows you are incoherent, but you make perfect sense to yourself.

    It appears that Vargas, Poole, Hood, Polson, Harrelson, Liggins, Miller are not one-and-done. That’s 70% of the team. Looks like you have what you want. Why are you still crying on this site? Give Cal the credit he deserves for being the best coach we could possible have right now. Not even Izzo, K, Roy, Self, or old dude at UConn can compete with Cal on building a program through recruiting. #8 and #9 are coming within 5 years. Stop complaining and enjoy the ride.

  88. BgEEZ

    Dude,I get your point about the points averaged by the froshes the past 2 season and you are right but it stops there….I believe if you ask the draft cats they were super successful….if you ask me they underachieved and failed in the main goal, winning a championship. Players like the great Tony Delk who won a national championship, was an all-american, and MVP of the Final Four will carry more weight and clout then one and dones. I dont care about watching a freshman score 10 pts, or do a dance, or flash a call me sign…thats fun but not the impact of a guy like Delk….wow.

  89. load testing

    Amen to Struggler! #86

  90. dudeupnorth

    65 and 73…I said when Epps was a senior. That would have been in 1997, not 96. Get it right fellas. Im not saying Epps was more talented, that would be absurd, but I would take Epps (as a senior in 1997) in a single game or in the tournament over Wall. And yes I do think that last years team was more talented than that 1997 team.

  91. Musehobo

    89) Got it right.