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:
*Sometimes You Just Can’t Win: Kentucky took a massive P.R. hit last week when the NCAA decided that Duke was guilty of no wrongdoing in the Lance Thomas case. Thomas, of course, is the former Blue Devil who — while a student-athlete at Duke — walked into a jewelry shop with $30,000 in cash and proceeded to purchase $97,000 worth of jewelry. The store owner extended him $67,000 of credit, even though he was a college student at the time with no apparent means to pay the debt. By clearing Thomas, the NCAA only brought attention to the fact that it had previously punished John Calipari and UMass for essentially the exact same thing back in 1996, when Marcus Camby accepted jewelry from an agent. Though the NCAA has yet to explain what exactly differentiates the Camby case from the Thomas case, one can only assume that there has to be a significant difference between the two situations, because why would they punish UMass but not Duke? Whatever UMass and Calipari did back then, it must have been really bad. The longer the powers-that-be in Indianapolis remain silent, the worse this looks for Kentucky.
*I Can’t Get There From Here: It is currently the offseason, which means just one thing in Lexington: John Calipari is openly soliciting NBA head coaching jobs. Despite the fact that Kentucky’s season ended over 7 weeks ago, Calipari has yet to publicly announce that he is not interested in any NBA coaching job. Though he has made several public appearances this Spring, and his tweeted about topics ranging from yogurt to books to smart cars, he has conspicuously opted not to vehemently deny interest in becoming an NBA head coach again. Is John Calipari’s steadfast refusal to publicly deny rumors that he desires an NBA job the sole reason that Andrew Wiggins has yet to commit to Kentucky? Yes. Yes it is.
*We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds: The NBA playoffs are currently being contested. This does not bode well for Kentucky. Last season, UK uber-frosh Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were selected first and second overall by the New Orleans Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats, respectively. However, despite investing significant sums of money in these players, neither teams was able to make the playoffs this year. In fact, New Orleans is so eager to distance itself from its mistake that the franchise has opted to change its nickname to “Pelicans.” By comparison, look at ex-Louisville standout Earl Clark. He’s made the postseason a staggering 4 times in his brief career, undoubtedly as a result of what he learned under the tutelage of his college coach, Rick Pitino. Is John Calipari’s failure to develop players good enough to lead their teams to the playoffs the sole reason that Andrew Wiggins has yet to commit to Kentucky? Yes. Yes it is.
* On this date: On this date in 2023, Andrew Wiggins will still be deciding where he wants to attend college.