By: Taylor Harry
My, oh my, where would any of us be without the educational guidance Sesame Street provided us with as children? The show gave me both nice dreams, and if I remember correctly, numerous nightmares (Really,a giant bird and a creepy thing living in a trashcan? Come on.). Also, numerous creatures on Sesame Street loved to rock the uni-brow. Perhaps this is the reason Mr Anthony Davis loves his so much. Sadly, we may never know the truth behind the forehead caterpillar of our big man. Anyway, let’s give it up for the creepy vampire for showing us what teams have done under John Calipari on the court the past 10 seasons, with some numbers.
The reason behind this post is to take a look at where the 2012 ‘Cats stand currently compared to the rest of the teams from Coach Cal’s tenure at Kentucky and last seasons at Memphis. The numbers may surprise you…
What do I take away from these graphs? First, it is obvious that talent plays a major role for teams under Calipari. Second, I believe intangibles play an even bigger role in determining a team’s success (Tragically, you can’t measure a team’s intangibles with a graph, you just can’t. Trust me, I tried.). Interestingly, by looking at some of the shot percentages from each season, it can be noted that teams with the most talent were not always the most successful on the court.
Season Results Notes:
2002-2004: Memphis made the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons.
2005-06: Memphis entered the NCAA Tournament as a No.1 seed after a record-breaking 30-3 season.
2006-07: Memphis entered NCAA Tournament, as a No.2 seed and record of 30-3 during the season. (Note: Memphis went undefeated in conference play)
2007-08: Memphis went to the Final Four with Derrick Rose and an NCAA record of 38 wins.
2008-09: Memphis went to the Sweet Sixteen and lost, thus ending the Memphis-Calipari era.
2009-10: Calipari’s first season at Kentucky with an overwhelmingly talented recruiting class led by John Wall. (We all know the story of that magical season, so I will avoid further salting the healing wound)
2010-11: It was a roller-coaster of a year for a young Kentucky Wildcats team. The group went from an immature team on the road to a tournament power in March advancing to a much needed Final Four appearance and falling just two points short of an NCAA title game.
2011-12: The story of the 2011-12 Kentucky team is going to be a good one, and the mid season stats can show you that
The 2008 Final Four team for Memphis shot very well from inside the arc; however, their 3Pt.% and FT% struggled. Kentucky’s Final Four team, in 2011, shot 39.7% from 3Pt. range and 71% from the charity stripe. FG% was a struggle for the ‘Cats as they only made 45.9% of their shots. All of the statistics are impressive, both from Memphis and Kentucky, but none of the numbers represent a National Champion. If Kentucky can keep up their shot percentages at both the charity stripe and inside the arc and improve on their 3Pt. shot percentage, there is no reason to believe this team doesn’t have what it takes to be a banner-raising team.