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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Jersey Retirement Week (John Wall or Wayne Turner)


Image result for wayne turner

We sure are in the middle of a boring time in UK athletics.  Now that the excitement over the track and field national championships is over, we really don’t have much else interesting to discuss until football season comes back in full force in August.  So I thought it might be a good time to bring back a themed week that I did a few years back that got a lot of conversation going and even got me a twitter lashing from one King Rex.  More on him later in the week.

So for the next 5 days, we are going to spend each day breaking down candidates for jersey retirement at each position.  Some guys are OBVIOUSLY going to get up there at some point, such as Anthony Davis.  There is no point in putting guys like that into the post.  Instead we will put guys up for debate who are fringe candidates for the honor or fans tend to bring up more often than others.  Today we focus on the point guard position and two guys who are quite opposite: JOHN WALL and WAYNE TURNER.  It is the epitome of the One and Done superstar and the 4-year steadying force.  But in the case of Wall and Turner the team success plays a role too.  So let’s take a brief look at each:

JOHN WALL (2009-10)
Points: 616 (126th all-time)
Assists: 241 (35th all-time)
Steals: 66
-1st team All-American, SEC Player of the Year, SEC Tournament MOP (2010)
-#1 NBA Draft Pick (2010)
-19th best scoring season in UK history
-2nd best assists season in UK history

TEAM HISTORY
2009-10: 35-3 (Elite 8, SEC Champions, SEC Tournament Champions)

WAYNE TURNER (1995-99)
Points: 1,170 (42nd all-time)
Assists: 494 (4th all-time)
Steals: 238 (1st all-time)
-SEC Tournament MOP (1998)
-2nd best steals season in UK history

TEAM HISTORY
1995-96: 34-2 (National Champions, SEC Champions)
1996-97: 35-5 (National Runner-Up, SEC Tournament Champions)
1997-98: 35-4 (National Champions, SEC Champions, SEC Tournament Champions)
1998-99: 28-9 (Elite 8, SEC Tournament Champions)

MY TAKE
I don’t think you are going to find many people who will argue that John Wall isn’t a better player in most or all areas than Wayne Turner.  His superstar status in the NBA plus his All-American status in his 1 season at UK, something Turner never did, proves that.  But there is also no question that Turner played a role in two national champion teams and another Final Four team.  He is the ultimate winner.  So I think the question comes down to what kind of player you think deserves to be up there and how much does team success matter.

I think both guys have an argument to be there but I would choose Wall to be more deserving.  That honor is an INDIVIDUAL one above all else.  And while I think Turner is deserving as an individual, you have to admit that part of his success and statistical build-up is due to the talent he had around him.  Wall would have been a star in any setting but would Turner have been?  Either way, John Wall might be the best point guard in this school’s history and while I would support both guys going up, if given a choice my answer would be Wall hands down going up first.


Article written by Bryan the Intern

23 responses to “BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Jersey Retirement Week (John Wall or Wayne Turner)”

  1. Rain1940

    IMO, hanging a jersey is an honor for players that excelled over a career. One and done does not equal superior performance over a 3 or 4 year career, no matter the name on the back of a jersey or where you rank among all time players. Being more than a 100 down the list automatically excludes you from the honor, IMO

    1. BBNDan7

      So Anthony Davis shouldn’t have his name up there?

  2. WDCATS

    No one and done player should ever be retired. That is something that should be reserved for players that were a part of the program for years.

    1. StuckinLville

      Yeah but there are exceptions like Anthony Davis. He dominated. By the time his NBA career is over, he shouldn’t just have a jersey in the rafters, he should have a statue.

  3. Catcasey1

    Turner not even close

  4. bosch8184

    What? I know we’re desperate in June for content and this is Kalipari Sports Radio but let’s not be absolutely ridiculous.

    Turner is remembered for absolutely destroying Wojo and keying an epic elite comeback against Duke thus paving the way for the 3rd straight title game appearance and 2nd title in 3 years and Wall is remembered for….dancing??

    1. bigbluebanana

      Just dancing huh? Okay.

    2. bosch8184

      And bricks, he put up a lot of bricks in that one Elite 8 loss.

      Really cool dunk against UNC in December though.

    3. bigbluebanana

      I’d argue his decision to play at UK was almost as important as Cal being named coach in terms of bringing UK back into the national powerhouse spotlight. Is he as important to UK history or as loved by fans as Turner? Probably not, but he’s remembered for way more than just dancing and that’s just a stubborn, and ignorant comment. Other than AD and maybe KAT, who was a more important OAD? Would you rather have Dorian Lamb on your team because he stayed 2 years? What about Dominique Hawkins because he was a Kentucky boy and stayed 4 years? John Wall doesn’t belong in the rafters, especially over Turner, but you’re pretending as if he was a scrub who played no important part in UK history.

  5. IheartRex

    The only OAD that should be in the rafters as of now is Davis.

  6. StuckinLville

    If Wall won a title and a bunch of player of the year awards I could understand. But Turner is a 2x champion who started on that 98 team. I’ve always said Turner should be up there. As well as guys like Walter McCarty,Jeff Sheppard and others.

  7. CSCat

    To me, no one and done should be considered for the rafters. Those honored should be players that played 3-4 years and contributed mightily for the program.

  8. nunya

    Hard to imagine that anyone could vote for Wall over Turner.

  9. bluecrowe

    This is typical Millennial thinking to even entertain the idea John Wall deserves to have his jersey retired. John Wall accomplished nothing as he allowed the best team in the country to lose to an inferior West Virginia team. He was explosive and entertaining, but beyond that he did not succeed. To even consider having a jersey retired you need to have meant something over the long run to the university and to have been on campus for longer than 5 months. We are Kentucky and not some middling program such as Memphis. Had Cal never come here and Wall had gone there, then yes retire the jersey, but not at UK. You cannot reward the OAD guys in this way. We never see them in enough situations, games, or get to know them. Had Wall and Cousins just comeback one more year to win it all then possibly, but they did not. I love Wall, but retiring jerseys is a very big deal and not worthy of a 5 month rental.

    1. bigbluebanana

      I’ll get off your lawn now, sorry sir.

  10. Rain1940

    A player’s jersey should hang in the rafters for what he or she did at KY, not what they do in the NBA. One year is simply not long enough to earn that honor. One and done has destroyed traditional basketball in college.

    1. bigbluebanana

      If 1940 is your birth year, I bet you only like things “the way they used to be” in the “good ol’ days”. Older/traditional things are not automatically better just because it’s what you like. You want to watch 5 white guys in short shorts pass the ball around for three minutes setting screens and waiting for an elbow jumper to open up? I don’t! No one does except old farts. I’m not a millennial but it’s easy for me to accept changing times and understand that basketball, just like life forms, is constantly evolving, and that’s a good thing.

    2. Rain1940

      1940 is my birth year and I love basketball as it’s played today and by teams that we get to know. Not the ones using the college experience to jump to the NBA, whether they are ready or not.

      Another thing ‘I love’ is us old farts have respect for our fellow man and aren’t afraid to tell someone face to face instead of hiding behind a keyboard to insult people as most of the posts from bigbluebanana.

    3. bigbluebanana

      If I could see your old ass I’d say it to your face! Lol. But I’ve been taught not to punch 80 year olds. You took it way too personally, but whatever. If you were offered millions based on your ability to start something immediately and be doing what you love, I’m sure you’d stay in college because of moral obligation to fans and what is “right”. I’d bet a years salary if these one and fines were a different skin color, you’d be defending them. Now go to bed old man, it’s almost 6.

    4. Rain1940

      bigbluebanana, You are an asshole. First, you have no idea what color I am, second I have a son in law that is a different color and I love him, third you punch some 80 year olds and you won’t live to talk about it, fourth, everything you write is intended to be personal or you are too ignorant to know the difference, fifth, I don’t blame the one and done for grabbing the bucks, yes, I would do it if I were able back in the day, sixth, you would lose that $500 you earn in a year and I don’t defend or discriminate against anyone because of their color, age or sex, finally, this old man does what he wants when he wants and not when some asshole gets his hackles up because someone called his hand at being ignorant and insulting. Any further obnoxious posts by you will be ignored. You aren’t worth the response. Now, I’ve dipped to your level.

    5. runningunnin.454

      Whew, ya’ll mad; we’re all UK fans…cut it out.

  11. ceeph

    As a Kentucky fan I wish them nothing but the best at the next level. With that said it does not matter if they are an NBA all star every year when it comes to getting jersey in the rafters at Rupp. It is what you did and what your team accomplished while you were here that matters. Fact is Turner has 2 national championships and a final four to Wall’s big fat 0. It shouldn’t even be a question. The only one and done that can make any kinda claim to the rafters is Davis because he won a championship.

  12. michaelb

    Do a piece on Rex Chapman … somebody, anybody. He never gets enuff cred & that boy could ball . Dunk all over ppl. It took a lot of courage to do what he did too ( bit the bullet, pulled himself up by his boot straps. You know he felt so shameful but despite that announced his small set back and is here offering his knowledge and opinions of the game. Shows that we are all human. Maybe it’s just me but this guy is one of my heroes . I’m from this time period where he just awed me – some of y’all young guns, search youtube : Rex Chapman dunks. You won’t be wasting your time promise