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:
*Kill: It was recently reported that Jarrod Polson gave up his jersey number (5) to incoming freshman Andrew Harrison. Uh-oh. Even though John Calipari has 100% guaranteed that the 2013-14 Cats would definitely go undefeated no doubt about it, there are already signs of turmoil and it’s not even the All-Star break. Though Polson reportedly gave up the number voluntarily, it is entirely possible (theoretically) that Harrison threatened physical violence to Polson if he didn’t cooperate. It is also entirely possible (theoretically) that Polson only gave up the digits out of fear for his personal safety. It will be interesting to watch this controversy develop. Even though the season doesn’t start for 5 months, has it already been derailed? Yes. It is entirely possible (theoretically).
*The Middle: This week, Mark Stoops and the Kentucky football team have had unprecedented levels of success on the recruiting trail. To date, Stoops has racked up a total of seven 4-star commits, matching Rich Brooks’ entire seven year tenure in just six months on the job. This is not what Kentucky basketball fans wanted to see. The repeated commitments from these blue-chippers will surely draw the ire of the NCAA. And while the powers-that-be are holding a magnifying glass over the folks at Nutter Field House, don’t be surprised if John Calipari also gets some unwanted attention. It is quite interesting to note that World Wide Wes has yet to appear in public with Mark Stoops, much like he has not appeared in public with John Calipari in recent years even though the two are best friends forever. Is this a red flag? Most assuredly. Though the UK football coaches like to announce big-time commitments with tweets of “Yahtzee!,” it is readily apparent that the UK basketball team is playing another game right now: Risk.
*Pain: Last week, North Carolina’s P.J. Hairston was arrested for drug possession, and it was later learned that a gun was found outside Hairston’s vehicle. This does not bode well for Kentucky. UNC showed the world that it was serious about being a big-time college basketball program when it stopped making its players attend class. With this latest development, the folks in Chapel Hill are also making it abundantly clear that they intend to win, and win big. In past years, schools could recruit against UNC by telling recruits how soft the Heels were, how weak they were, and how they weren’t tough enough. (They wear argyle, for crying out loud.) But by throwing weed and guns in the mix, North Carolina is sending an unmistakable message that they are serious about being total badass outlaws. Watch out, Coach Cal.
* On this date: On this date in 2013 — despite coming off the best year they have ever had or will ever have — Louisville fans were yearning for acceptance from Kentucky.