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Bryan the Intern’s Picks to Click

I think anybody with half a brain and at least a smidge of rationality can admit that the odds of John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, and/or Patrick Patterson are very unlikely to return for the 2010-11 season.  And it has been so rare for one UK team to have this much talent that I think as fans, we still can not fathom the historical significance of the this talent. 

Of course, that’swhy I am here.  To start conversations that are really pointless in the grand scheme of things, but are still great back and forths, especially during an off-day.  So, I want to know where you put these three fantastic players on the grand scale of UK legends. 

This argument is especially tough because Wall and Cousins will only grace our presence for one season, so it’s difficult to compare them to guys like Wayne Turner or Alex Groza, who put 3 or 4 years into the program.  Patterson is much easier to judge because of the time and significance of play. 

I’ve split these 3 groups into guards (Wall), forwards (Patterson), and centers (Cousins).  And to put my Top 10 list together, I used personal stats and team success into account, but when putting together individual rankings, I tend to take individual stats with more weight than team stats.

Don’t worry, I put some links at the bottom for you to digest. 

Tuesday: Forwards (Patterson)
Wednesday: Centers (Cousins)

Top 10 UK guards (without Wall)

1. Tony Delk
UK ranks: 5th in points, 40th in assists, 2nd in steals
Career: 133 games, 14.2 ppg, 1.6 apg, 1.5 spg
Notes: 1 National Title, 2 Final Fours, 1 SEC POY, 1 Final Four MVP, 1 All-American

2. Ralph Beard
UK ranks: 14th in points
Career: 139 games, 10.9 ppg
Notes: 2 National Titles, 2 Final Fours, 3 All-American

3. Kyle Macy
UK ranks: 21st in points, 6th in assists, 21st in steals
Career: 98 games, 14.4 ppg, 4.8 apg, 1.3 spg
Notes: 1 National Title, 1 Final Four, 1 SEC POY, 3 All-American

4. Frank Ramsey
UK ranks: 27th in points, 2nd in rebounds
Career: 91 games, 14.8 ppg, 11.4 rpg
Notes: 1 National Title, 1 Final Four, 3 All-American

5. Keith Bogans
UK ranks: 4th in points, 14th in assists, 12th in steals
Career: 135 games, 14.2 ppg, 2.3 apg, 1.1 spg
Notes: 1 SEC POY, 1 All-American

6. Louie Dampier
UK ranks: 12th in points
Career: 80 games, 19.7 ppg, 1.7 apg
Notes: 1 Final Four, 1 All-American

7. Dirk Minnefield
UK ranks: 50th in points, 1st in assists, 10th in steals
Career: 123 games, 8.7 ppg, 5.3 apg, 1.3 spg
Notes: 3 All-SEC

8. Wayne Turner
UK ranks: 41st in points, 4th in assists, 1st in steals
Career: 151 games, 7.7 ppg, 3.3 apg, 1.6 spg
Notes: 2 National Titles, 3 Final Fours, 1 All-SEC

9. Ed Davender
UK ranks: 11th in points, 8th in assists, 4th in steals
Career: 129 games: 12.7 ppg, 3.4 apg, 1.5 spg
Notes: 2 All-SEC

10. Rex Chapman
UK ranks: 49th in points, 35th in assists, 35th in steals
Career: 61 games, 17.6 ppg, 3.6 apg, 1.5 spg
Notes: 1 All-American

TBD: John Wall
UK ranks (current): 146th in points
UK ranks (projected): 108th in points, 31st in assists, 44th in steals
Career: 26 games, 16.8 ppg, 6.3 apg, 1.9 spg

Outlook: Wall’s stats for his one season hold up against any UK guard in history, so he is good to go there.  But, for Wall to be considered for the Top 5, he certainly needs some serious success in the NCAA Tournament, preferably a Final Four.  Without a trip to Indianapolis this year, I personally would not put Wall into the Top 5.  But, with a Final Four trip and even a national title, I think Wall jumps Bogans at least. 

I really have no qualms with people who say that Wall is the most “talented” guard ever in Lexington.  I think that is a fair statement.  But, at Kentucky, part of the legacy of the all-time greats is the 3 or 4 year processthese guys went through.  Wayne Turner is a perfect example of a guy who came into UK with decent credentials andthen EARNED his legend status over 4 years.  Tony Delk is another wonderful example of this ideal. 

But, Wall’s overall on and off the court impact deserves him the accolades that are coming his way after the season.  He deserves the SEC and All-American honors he will be given is just a few weeks. 

But, this is Kentucky.  It’s not Louisville or Texas or UCONN.  You have to WIN BIGat UK for fans to remember you forever.  So far this season, Wall and Co. have certainly done that.  But, to go from adoredto legend, March is where it’s at.  And for John Wall to be in the same company of the Delk’s, Beard’s and Macy’s, 6 games in March and April is how it’s going to be done. 

How does John Wall become #1: He has to win the national title, beating Duke in the final or Final Four, while hitting a game winning shot at buzzer, and then doing the John Wall dance immediately after.  Point being, it’s unlikely I will ever consider John Wall the best guard in UK history.  He has the most talent, but he won’t have the body of work.   

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-Kentucky held strong at #4 in the latest RPI standings.  Barring a complete collapse, which in my mind is 3 losses, the Cats should have a #1 seed wrapped up.  Now, we just have to push Kansas to lose a game so the St. Louis region opens back up. 

-On the female side, UK currently is 14th in the RPI.  That translates into a 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but most importantly, in this projection, the Cats would avoid UCONN in the Sweet 16.   

-We are now 30 years past the “Miracle on Ice“, without question the greatest American Olympic moment in history.  And considering we just passed the 20 year anniversary of Tyson-Douglas, the question is: which is the bigger upset

-Tiger Woods “press conference” moves reporter to tears.  It moved most of us to tears, although ours were due to boredom. 

Article written by Bryan the Intern