(Tim Webb Photography)
Wake up, Madisonville. It’s Jon Hood time.
With Nerlens Noel’s 32 minutes per game suddenly swept away from the Wildcats, the door is open, wide open, for Jon Hood to be a contributor. Kentucky doesn’t have a choice, really. Hood is going to see the court and Kentucky needs him to give more than four minutes and one point per game.
But will he?
The potential to be a factor is there, according to Coach Cal. Hood has been a great practice player lately; now he just needs to transfer that over to games.
“Let me just tell you, he has been playing really good,” Calipari said last night. “He has been terrific at practice. Now what he’s got to do is carry over what he’s been doing at practice over to games. That’s demonstrated performance. He got in against Mississippi and he really helped us — really helped us.”
All eyes are now on UK to see how they handle the remaining seven regular season games without Nerlens Noel. Everyone will need to step up if Kentucky is going to have any chance of making the tournament. They can be heroes in Noel’s absence, or roll over and let the 2012-13 season die. Jon Hood is included in that group. He can make a difference if he elevates his game and makes the most of this unexpected opportunity.
From one Maroon to another, go get ’em, Hood. Make all of us who have to take the Wendell H. Ford WK Parkway home from Lexington proud.