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:
*Ain’t Life Grand: If one looks at the career trajectories of Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Indiana head coach Tom Crean, it is easy to see that these two careers are headed in decidedly different directions. Calipari’s career winning percentage is .765, while Crean’s is .606. In other words, there is a much greater chance that Crean will continue to trend upward, while Calipari regresses. Consider: If IU goes 21-13 this year, Crean’s all-time winning percentage will actually increase. Meanwhile, if UK finished 27-9, Calipari’s would plummet. Not only that, but can you image how much heat Calipari would feel if he went 5 years at UK without even making the Elite 8, like Crean has done at IU? Or if UK fielded its best team in a quarter century, a team which started the season ranked #1, only to flame out in the Sweet 16? The only way for Calipari to get on Crean’s level is to the lose the next 178 games he coaches, which seems unlikely. Tom Crean has a job at an all-time top 5 program and he is apparently under no pressure at all to even get to the Final 4. Maybe that’s why he claps so much.
*All Time Low: Lost in all the controversy surrounding Jeff Sheppard’s “I despise John Calipari” comments was the fact that he said something else that really irked UK fans. Namely, he said he doesn’t think Kentucky will win the national championship in 2014 because they are too young. Even though Cat fans took offense to that, he’s statistically 100% correct almost. In the 75 years of the NCAA Tournament, only one time (2012) has a team that relied almost exclusively on freshmen won a national championship. This means that 98.7% of the time, it never happens. Moreover, only one time (2012) has John Calipari won a national championship. Again, this means that 98.7% of the time, somebody not named John Calipari brings home the trophy. What are the odds of two different 75-1 longshots winning the same race? Exactly 1 in 5,625. So mathematically, this means that Kentucky has only a 0.00018% chance of brining home #9 next April. Is it 2014 football season yet?
*Travelin’ Light: John Wall just inked a 5 year, $80M contract. Meanwhile, Peyton Siva may be on the verge of going overseas to play professionally. This does not bode well for Kentucky. As long as UK players (such as Wall, Rajon Rondo, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, etc.) continue to make a name for themselves in the NBA, people will associate them with the NBA. Meanwhile, as long as UofL players (such as Siva, Samardo Samuels, Edgar Sosa, etc.) continue to play basketball in far away lands and wallow in obscurity, people will associate them with the University of Louisville. It’s all about name recognition, and as long as UK players make the front page by signing 8 figure deals, their college days get lost in the background. This may be exactly what Calipari, his players, their families and elite recruits want, but is it what Big Blue Nation wants?
* On this date: On this date in 2012, P.J. Hairston was probably driving around in some expensive vehicle that was leased by a felon.