The 2012-13 season is mercifully over, and despite having the #1 ranked recruiting class in the country, Kentucky failed to make the NCAA Tournament, and were unceremoniously dispatched in the First Round of the NIT by Robert Morris. Hard to see things being any different in 2013-14. To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends: As bad as March was for Kentucky basketball fans, April has been even worse. The two biggest high school All-Star games in the country are the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic, and each of those games featured six future UK players. Collectively, the future Cats lost a whopping FIVE times in those two contests. In the McDonald’s game, Julius Randle and Dakari Johnson were on the losing end. In the Jordan game, the Harrison twins and Randle came up short. (Randle was 0-2 in those contests, probably leading some to wonder if John Calipari made a mistake in recruiting him.) And it gets worse: Kentucky is still in the running for the services of Andrew Wiggins. However, Wiggins — like Randle — was winless in these two games. Incredibly, this isn’t even the worst news of all for Big Blue Nation: None of Louisville’s recruits lost either game. #L1C4Real
*I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World: Kentucky’s Spring Game, played last Saturday, was attended by almost 51,000 Kentucky fans. Of the 60 Spring Games played so far this season, this attendance ranked 2nd, behind only Nebraska, and ahead of former BCS champions Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida State, etc. This has to irk John Calipari to no end, as his Kentucky basketball team hasn’t ever seen a home crowd even half that size. Sure, both Final Four games in 2012 featured 70,000+, but that included fans of 4 teams, which means only about 17,500 of the fans in attendance at the Superdome were UK fans. And to make matters worse, Louisville generously announced a Spring Game attendance of only 33,000, which means the Cards, unlike the Cats, are still serious about hoops.
*(I’d Be) A Legend in My Time: Nerlens Noel declared for the NBA Draft and is being projected as the #1 overall pick this June. This does not bode well for Kentucky. Noel, of course, missed the last 5 weeks of the season with a torn ACL. So if he does go first in the draft, this means that Louisville fans were right all along, and that John Calipari has nothing at all to do with his players getting picked first. Derrick Rose may as well not even played for Memphis in 2008. John Wall could have bagged groceries in 2010, and he’d still be the top pick. Ditto Anthony Davis in 2012. So while Calipari had previously been able to sell recruits on his ability to develop elite talent, that claim has been irrefutably disproved. Forever. And ever. Amen. Don’t think rival coaches won’t be playing this card as well.
* On this date: On this date in 2011, Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo were preparing to start training for the 2011-12 season at Indiana. They both played their entire college careers undefeated against Kentucky in Bloomington.