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:
*You Know What It Is: What many people around here have suspected for years was confirmed by a facts-based study published by Emory University last week: Louisville fans are 7 times better than Kentucky fans. What other conclusion can be drawn when Louisville ranks #1 and Kentucky ranks #7? It’s math, folks. Though the study drew criticism from UK fans, media members, fans of other schools, and pretty much anyone who saw it, the bottom line is this: In the days since the study was released, nobody has been able to come up with another study to disprove it. The methodology of the Emory study, by the way, is rock-solid: “The key insight is that when a team achieves revenues that greatly exceed what would be expected based on team performance, it is an indication of significant brand equity.” What this means, for those who aren’t good at words and numbers, is that Louisville makes more money than one would expect, given the quality of the product they put on the floor. And since UofL fans are outnumbered by UK fans in the state by at least a 4-1 margin, this means that their fans are 28 times better than UK fans. (Either that, or they’re the beneficiary of a laughably one-sided lease and they sell a crap ton of beer. Whatever.)
*What You Know: The University of Kentucky men’s basketball program sustained a major PR black eye last week when Ron Holmes, the father of former UK recruit Shabazz Muhammad, was indicted on federal bank fraud and conspiracy charges. Muhammad is best known for almost committing to Kentucky, and for having a fancy backpack. Kentucky was just recovering from “GucciGate” when this latest bombshell exploded, and every time Muhammad shows up at the center of another controversy, America can’t help but remember how much John Calipari coveted him. Seeing as how every other college recruited Muhammad, and how he really hasn’t done anything wrong, it may not seem fair to view his troubles as reflecting negatively on Kentucky and no one else. But it is.
*Be Easy: John Calipari and UK are bringing in a recruiting class that ranks among the most highly touted in the history of college basketball. This does not bode well for Kentucky. Last year, as everyone knows, UK had the #1 ranked recruiting class in America. The result was a trainwreck of a season that was punctuated by a historic loss to Robert Morris. With that in mind, one would think that Calipari would tweak his approach to recruiting so as to avoid another 30 point loss to Tennessee. But instead, he went out and reeled in a class that is even more highly touted than last year’s, more talented than last year’s, and has more expectations than last year’s. Conversely, Tom Crean has shrewdly decided to mostly stay away from top 10 talent. Hoosier commit Noah Vonleh — Crean’s highest rated commit ever — is the consensus #8 player in America. Calipari, meanwhile, has signed 11 players ranked higher than that at Kentucky alone. And guess which one of those coaches was seen cutting down the nets this past season.
* On this date: On this date in 1979, little Petey Thamel was getting beat up by boys, laughed at by girls, and ignored by his parents. He would exact his revenge by attempting to ruin the lives of teenage basketball players.