Yahoo Sports has been counting down the Top 10 “Untouchable Records” in college basketball. So far they have only revealed #10-#7 but it got me thinking about some of the Kentucky basketball records that are currently in place. Which ones are in jeopardy of being broken soon (aka during the Calipari era), and which are closer to the “untouchable” category?
Career Points Total: Dan Issel (2,138)
What’s most impressive about Dan Issel’s all-time scoring record is that he only played for 3 seasons in a grand total of 83 games. To put that in perspective, the rest of the top 5 (Kenny Walker, Jack Givens, Keith Bogans and Tony Delk) all played in at least 123 games or more over the course of 4 seasons.
In order for someone to have the best chance to break Issel’s scoring record, playing for 4 seasons would be ideal. Keith Bogans played in the most games of the top 5 scorers on the list, playing in 135. If a future Kentucky player played in 135 games over the course of his career, he would need to average 15.8 points per game.
In an era of college basketball when the best players leave college early, rarely staying all 4 years, it’s hard to imagine Issel’s record being in danger anytime soon. Even a player like Darius Miller, who started or played significant minutes all 4 years, came in almost 1,000 points shy of Issel with 1,248.
Chances of record being broken: Very low
Game High Point Total: Jodie Meeks (54)
Jodie Meeks just recently broke the game high scoring record that had been held since 1970 by Dan Issel. The only other 2 players to even break the 50 point total in a game both did so in the 1950s. It’s not unheard of in this day and age for a player to score 50+ points in a game. It’s rare, but it happens. Jodie Meeks is proof.
As long as Calipari is around though, it’s hard to imagine any one player totaling 50+ points in one game. Calipari usually puts a collection of players on the court who are all very talented and who all might be capable of scoring 50 points a game if they took enough shots. The thing about Calipari’s teams though is just how balanced they can be. Players share the ball and share the shot selection. Anthony Davis, the best player in the country last season, rarely shot the ball more than 12 times per game.
I don’t think this record will be broken in the Calipari era. Some might disagree due to the level of talent. But I just don’t see the record standing a chance to be broken until a new coach comes along who may have less balanced teams. And considering it took 30+ years for Jodie Meeks to break it, I think the record is safe for now.
Chances of record being broken: Low
Blocked Shots in a Season: Anthony Davis (186)
Anthony Davis crushed the previous blocked shots in a season record by Melvin Turpin (83). It’s hard to imagine that a record broken by such an astonishing amount, could be in jeopardy just one season later. Word around the college basketball ranks though is that Nerlens Noel was actually a better shot blocker in high school than Anthony Davis. High school and college basketball are clearly two very different levels. But the fact that people are even considering comparing Nerlens Noel to one of the best shot blockers the college game has ever seen, is impressive. Nerlens Noel would have to adjust right away to the college game defensively like Anthony Davis. Kentucky making a deep run in the NCAA tournament would also help add to Noel’s block total. If Nerlens Noel doesn’t top Davis’ mark this season, I think the record will be safe for a while.
Chances of record being broken: Average
Season High Points in Freshman Season: Brandon Knight (657)
Brandon Knight broke the all-time season scoring record for a freshman in a quiet way. When people think about all of the talented, young freshmen John Calipari has brought to Kentucky in his 3 years, many names surface before Brandon Knight’s. Knight’s point production was the most impressive of them all though.
To put the leaders in perspective, 7 of the top 10 freshman scoring leaders are Calipari products. In fact, the top 7 are all Calipari’s guys. Calipari has landed the top recruiting class in the nation year after year while at Kentucky. He seems on pace to continue doing so for years to come. It’s not out of the question to think that every season one of his freshman has a chance to break this record.
Chances of record being broken: Very High
What other records do you think are in jeopardy in the Calipari era and which records do you think are untouchable?
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