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:
*Come On: After Kentucky lost to Robert Morris on Tuesday, RMU fans poured salt in UK’s wound by mimicking traditional powerhouse — and UK rival — Indiana: They rushed the court. An act that was previously performed only after plucky upstarts shocked heavily favored Goliaths, Hoosier fans have made it fashionable for everyone to rush the court. Favorites, underdogs, top 10 teams, perennial superpowers, etc. By doing away with the conventional wisdom that “if you rush the court you have no dignity and you’re sending a message that you did not expect to win” Indiana has it made it cool for everyone to do it. By rushing the court, Robert Morris students were sending a message: “Our program is no different than Indiana.” By turning decades of tradition on its head, IU has shown itself to be on the cutting edge of college basketball culture. What’s next, Tom Crean? Cutting the nets after a loss? LOL.
*Blue: After Kentucky’s disappointing end to its disappointing season, UK freshmen Willie Cauley-Stein, Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress all promised that they would return to Kentucky next year for a run at a national title. Reading between the lines, one can see what a fatal blow this is for Big Blue Nation: Nerlens Noel (impliedly, by his silence) has declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft. This was apparently such an easy decision for him that he opted to not even travel with his (former) team to Pennsylvania for the game against Robert Morris. If it weren’t bad enough that Calipari had players bolting for the NBA after just one season in Lexington, he now has kids doing this after half a season in Lexington. Is this what college basketball has become? Shaking my head.
*Joy: On Wednesday afternoon, Julius Randle committed to John Calipari and UK. This does not bode well for Kentucky. Cat fans had their big blue hearts set on landing Andrew Wiggins, but with Randle in the fold, this looks increasingly unlikely. To find out Wiggins’ reaction to Randle’s decision, I sent him a letter requesting a comment. In the interest of convenience, I included a self-addressed stamped envelope. However, at press time (Wednesday evening) I had not heard back, which obviously means that Wiggins is so disillusioned with Kentucky at this point, he isn’t even opening his mail. And to exacerbate matters, current UK freshmen Willie Cauley-Stein, Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress all vowed to return next season, which practically guarantees that Wiggins will not be in Lexington next season. Poor Kentucky.
* On this date: On this date in 2049,
Indiana Robert Morris will still be celebrating a December 2011 March 2013 win over Kentucky.