I am really getting sick of saying IF Derrick Jasper leaves next season, the team will be just fine and his loss will be minimal. Two things changed this past season’s fortunes: the more freedom given to Ramel and Joe to play to their strengths and Derrick Jasper’s return. And now people want to act like he is garbage and the recruits they have will fill his shoes. First, NOBODY knows how good Liggins or Galloway will be. And second, you can not underestimate a point guard with Division 1 point guard experience. And guess what, if Jasper leaves, the Cats only have Michael Porter with that experience. Here was Jasper’s difference last season:
Record without Jasper: 5-6 (losses to Gardner-Webb, UNC, Indiana, Houston, UAB, Mississippi St.)
Record with Jasper: 13-6 (Louisville, San Diego, Florida, Vandy, Tennessee, Georgia)
I think Jasper’s losses were not quite as bad.
Jasper 3-point%: 43.2% (led team)
He became dependable with an open jumpshot.
You have to ask yourself, why do you want to shake off a guard who was your one of your 2 best rebounders, averaged a block and a steal a game, and developed a good enough jump shot. Not to mention, he did it ALL while injured. Jasper had more assists to turnovers is his last 9 games last season. You can disagree if you want, but IF Jasper leaves, I think it costs the Cats 1-2 games next season that they would have won with him running the point.
Now that subject is off my chest, we can get to the links:
1. Cats baseball gets going in the SEC Tourney tonight against Alabama at 9PM. UK is probably safely in the NCAA Tournament no matter what, but a championship gives them a good shot at hosting a regional. Cheer them on.
2. Speaking of Cats baseball, Mark Maloney of the Herald-Leader says the Cats are using their failures from the 2006 tournament run to help them out for 2008.
3. Word from Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal is that possible Iowa St. transfer Wesley Johnson has has not even been by UK. And that comes from a quote from Johnson, no just citing sources.
4. I do want to clarify something I said yesterday, which was this was the best set of conference finals in NBA history. And everyone started hyperventilating and giving every freakin year the Bulls played and the entire 1980’s. My point is simply COMING INTO the conference finals, these are the best matchups in NBA history, simply on storylines. If both series go 5 games, then obviously they couldn’t hold that distinction. But if we have really competitive series that go 6 or 7 games, then this could be the best. By the way, ratings are WAY UP for the playoffs this year. Too bad the games have been duds for the most part.
5. And the Chicago Bulls have already wrapped up the award for “Luckiest Team in the World: this year, after winning the draft lottery after only having a 1.9 percent chance to do so. You know what I want, them to actually show the ping pong balls getting picked or whatever. Because how exactly do they do this. How do you put 1 and 9/10 of a ping pong bal into a tub. Nonetheless, the Bulls now have a very hard choice because they have good players at both the positions that Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley play. My guess is they go with Beasley, because they just signed Kirk Hinrich to a 5-year deal, but Rose is from Chicago.