The 2013-14 season is quickly approaching, and Big Blue Nation holds its collective breath. John Calipari’s Kentucky team will go to war this year relying only on what a few “experts” are calling “the greatest recruiting class ever assembled,” a couple of sophomores, and a few older guys. Is this a recipe for success? We shall see. But probably not. Unfortunately for Kentucky, only one team has ever won the national championship using this formula, and this happened way back in 2012. To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*Pass The Mic: Is John Calipari losing his touch on the recruiting trail? The short answer is “yes.” It was recently revealed that he is now relying his recruits to do his dirty work. 2014 point guard and UK pledge Tyler Ulis is on record saying that he is actively recruiting other players to join him in Lexington. Is this because he isn’t confident in Calipari’s ability to close the deal, or is it because he isn’t confident in his abilities as a player and feels he needs other good players surrounding him? Yes. Whatever the case may be, only one guy is being paid millions of dollars to bring the “best of the best” (his words) high school players to the Bluegrass. Yet it seems he has dispatched a teenager to do his job for him. Shaking my head.
*Ch-Check It Out [Explicit]: On Monday, 2014 forward Trey Lyles tweeted that he has cut his list to two schools: Kentucky and Louisville. However, a closer inspection of his announcement reveals that he seems to have already made up his mind, and will attend the University of Louisville. Look at the picture that accompanied his declaration. In the Louisville jersey, he is smiling. In the Kentucky jersey, he is sullen. The Louisville jersey is a home jersey, indicating he will play his college ball at the Yum! Center. Meanwhile, the UK jersey is an away jersey, meaning he would only go to Rupp Arena as a visitor. Also, as the photo indicates, he already owns a Louisville jersey. Silent commit, anyone? And it’s not just the picture that gives it away. Lyles is a forward, and Pitino has had great success with forwards in the past: Jamal Mashburn, Walter McCarty, Antoine Walker, etc. Plus, look at all the 5 star players who have decommitted from UofL recently: Quentin Snider, Jaqaun Lyle, etc. You don’t have to be a fortune teller to realize this means that they received word that Lyles was Louisville-bound and were scared that this would impact their minutes. Finally, look at his name. Notice anything? That’s right, You can’t spell “Lyles” without “L Yes!”
*Fight For Your Right: Several times in the past few weeks, John Calipari has said that incoming center Dakari Johnson is “better than I thought” and that he would “challenge Willie Cauley-Stein for minutes.” This does not bode well for Kentucky. First of all, the fact that Johnson is better than Calipari thought basically means that Calipari is a terrible judge of talent. Also, why would he offer a scholarship to a guy he thinks is awful, which is what he just admitted? When Johnson sees these quotes (they have been emailed to him and his parents), he is bound to be upset. Likewise, when Calipari says Johnson will challenge Willie Cauley-Stein for minutes, he’s essentially saying that WCS sucks. Granted, I haven’t won over 500 games as a coach like he has, but this hardly seems like the best way to instill confidence in your players. When asked his reaction to his coach suggesting that he was terrible at basketball, Cauley-Stein had no comment.
* On this date: On this date in 1949, Kentucky had only won two national championships, which is one less than Louisville has.