Now, the offseason. And while there may not be any more games to played, there is always excitement surrounding the Kentucky basketball program, whether it’s which freshmen (or juniors) will declare for the NBA before they’re ready, which player will be implicated in a New York Times story, or which NBA job John Calipari will actively seek this summer. To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*Livin’ On A Prayer: On May 25, it was revealed that Ryan Harrow was transferring to Kentucky from North Carolina State. Surprisingly, UK fans seemed to be pleased by this. On one hand, it has not yet been explained how a player who apparently couldn’t cut it an ACC bottom-feeder like NCSU was going to excel at Kentucky. On the other hand, the ACC is an infinitely better league than the SEC, so maybe the youngster figures if he can’t succeed in Raleigh, he can do so in Lexington. That said, it should be pointed out that Harrow was only the 5th ranked point guard in the class of 2010, and — lest we forget — the top ranked point guard in that class voluntarily left the UK program after just one year. If #1 couldn’t make it, how will #5? And if an apparent lack of ability isn’t enough, it was announced on Twitter by the notoriously unbiased Jeff Goodman that the young man has an attitude problem. With all these factors working against Harrow, it’s no wonder that Rick Pitino elected not to sign him.
*Don’t Dream It’s Over: On May 21, it was revealed that Luke Hancock was transferring from George Mason to Louisville. This was a huge get for Rick Pitino, as he will be adding an experienced player to his roster, one that’s already proven that he can compete at the highest level of college basketball. In addition, the fact that Hancock has to sit out a year will only help, as he will benefit from practicing with a borderline top 25 team for a full season before he plays in a game. It looks like those who said Pitino was washed up after a salacious sex scandal and consecutive 1st Round embarrassments in the NCAA Tournament will be eating their words, as the Cards figure to be a top 5 team (in the Big East) for the foreseeable future. Also, by adding a zero star prospect who was unranked by the recruiting services, Pitino — who recently promised he would never recruit players who could possibly leave early for the NBA — once again proves that he’s a man of his word.
*With Or Without You: There has been talk that UK is considering offering a scholarship to former Wake Forest big man Tony Woods. Woods is probably best known for pleading guilty to assaulting his girlfriend, who also happens to be the mother of his child. Given the scrutiny that surrounds the UK program, it seems questionable why Calipari would want Woods on the team. So if Cal does offer a roster spot to Woods, it will be clear that he has no problem with having criminals on his roster. On the other hand, if he decides not to offer a scholarship to Woods, it will be equally clear that he doesn’t care about kids, that he’s not capable of forgiveness, and that he has no interest whatsoever in giving wayward young men a second chance.
* On This Date: On this date in 1989, Rick Pitino was announced as the new Kentucky head coach. It would take him almost 3 years to win an NCAA Tournament game.