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Not Jerry Tipton’s Friday Basketball Notebook


Well, it’s that time of week again. Time to take an unbiased look at what’s happening with Coach Cal, World Wide Wes, and the overly-hyped freshmen who seem to comprise the UK roster each year. This season, the team hopes to make the NCAA Tournament, obtain a favorable draw, and a relatively simple path to the Final Four. They also hope against hope that unlike the previous Final Fours in which John Calipari has coached, this one will stick. For those who want to stay informed and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton Here’s the weekly notebook:

* We Gotta Get Out of This Place:
A lot has been written and said about the freshmen who have played for John Calipari during his 2 seasons in Lexington. However, several of Kentucky’s recent losses have made it painfully obvious that the upperclassmen aren’t producing nearly as much as the newcomers. In the Ole Miss loss, for example, first-year players scored 59 of the 69 points Kentucky put on the board. This was not an isolated incident, either. Heading into the game at Florida, the rookies were outscoring the rest of the team, on average, 52 to 26. This same phenomenon occurred last year, when the first-year players scored 54 a game, compared to the 29 scored by the upperclassmen. Of course, this begs the question: What is happening to players at UK under John Calipari? Why are the freshmen’s numbers so much better than those of the veterans? Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, DeAndre Liggins and Darius Miller were all highly-touted recruits coming out of high school. Yet the three freshmen are collectively averaging 17 a game, compared to the 9 per game that Liggins and Miller are scoring. Each of these 5 players was ranked in the top 100 as high school seniors, so ostensibly, they are all of equal talent. Are players regressing while being coached by Calipari? Is this the reason that so many players leave Calipari’s program after just one year? The huge disparity between the production of the freshmen compared to the paltry numbers put up by the guys who have played multiple years under Coach Cal (Jon Hood and Josh Harrellson, just to name a couple), tends to give credence to a theory that should send chills down the spines of Big Blue fans everywhere: The longer a player plays for Calipari at UK, the worse he gets.

* They Are Merely Freshmen: When Kentucky beat Tennessee on February 8, they did so on the strength of the play of veterans DeAndre Liggins and Josh Harrellson, who scored 19 and 16 points, respectively. It matched a career high for Liggins, and it was Harrellson’s largest output since he scored 23 in the win against Louisville on December 31. Both before and after the Tennessee game, Calipari stressed how important it was that the veterans — Liggins, Harrellson and Darius Miller — play well, and given how things played out against UT, the importance of the upperclassmen to the success of the UK team is evident. Likewise, it is obvious that despite all the hype surrounding the freshman class, the straws that stir the Big Blue drink are the veterans, all of whom were recruited and signed by ex-UK coach Billy Gillispie. When they play like they played against the Vols (Miller also chipped in 7 points and 6 rebounds), the Cats are a tough out. When they don’t, UK is very beatable, as was shown in the many, many losses Kentucky has suffered this season. Of course, this begs the question: What happens when all of Gillspie’s recruits are gone? What happens when the roster is comprised solely of players inked by Calipari? If Kentucky fans are dissatisfied with the performance of the current team (and based on the emails I’ve received, they are), then they figure to be even more disgruntled when Billy’s Boys are history.

* You’re No Good: Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun recently got the attention of Kentucky fans everywhere when he told ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla that Tennessee is the most talented team that the Huskies have faced this year. UConn, remember, also played — and easily defeated — Kentucky earlier this season in Maui. Upon closer inspection, that comment has to cause some consternation among Big Blue fans. How is it that Tennessee, which is a football school that’s never even been to the Final Four, has more talent than Kentucky, which is a program that fancies itself college basketball royalty? How is it that Kentucky, which boasts three consecutive top-ranked recruiting classes, isn’t as talented as a team that lost to also-rans such as Charlotte, Oakland and the College of Charleston? Some may suggest that Calhoun was just taking a thinly-veiled swipe at Calipari, given the icy history the two coaches share, or that he was just being complimentary to a Tennessee team he just beat, but the fact of the matter is that Calhoun is a professional, and was simply offering his unbiased opinion. It may be true that UK enjoys a higher ranking, a better RPI and a better record than the Vols (and yes, they handily beat UT this week), but one has to assume that at some point this season, the talent disparity which Calhoun cited will show itself, and — just like last year — Kentucky’s season will end before Tennessee’s does.

* Turtle Power: It’s been well-documented that Kentucky’s rotation this season is short. Very short. As in “6 guys” short. How did this happen? One theory is that Calipari wasn’t expecting to lose Daniel Orton (who declared for the 2010 NBA Draft), Eric Bledsoe (ditto), or Darnell Dodson (who was kicked off the team for undisclosed reasons). Likewise, it was said to have been a surprise when Enes Kanter was ruled permanently ineligibile by the NCAA for being a professional. However, even if Calipari and company failed to adequately prepare for these events, it’s hard not to think back to 2009, when Calipari seemingly ran off every member of the team upon his arrival, even though the 2008-09 Kentucky roster was absolutely loaded. As in, “19 players” loaded. In fact, 6 of those players were walk-ons, which means it didn’t cost the university a dime to have them on the team. The question that must be answered, naturally, is whether any of those additional players could have helped this Kentucky squad. At least one person thinks so. Birdie Witherspoon, grandmother of Mark Halsell (one of those 6 several walk-ons), said during a telephone interview that her grandson would definitely be an asset to the 2011 Wildcats. “Boy can play. I don’t know who they got down there now, but Turtle can flat play. Ain’t no question he’s a star, and he shoulda been one at Kentucky.” As turns out, Ms. Witherspoon theory appears to have some merit. After getting booted from the team by Calipari, Halsell went on to be a standout for NAIA powerhouse Park University, where he played in 13 games last year, averaging almost 5 points per game. You don’t have to be a mathmetician to figure out that those 5 points would have turned UK losses into wins against North Carolina, Alabama, Ole Miss and Florida. Furthermore, instead of being 17-6 (5-4 in the SEC), the Cats would be 21-2 (8-1), and in the running for a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Oh, what might have been.

* Isn’t It Ironic? During the course of the Kentucky/Tennessee game at Rupp Arena on February 8, several Kentucky fans heckled UT coach Bruce Pearl, who was coaching in his first SEC game of the season after returning from an 8 game suspension. The punishment was levied by SEC commissioner Mike Slive, and it arose out of Pearl’s NCAA violations, and his subsequent untruths concerning same. Naturally, the taunts being offered by UK fans included “cheater,” “liar,” etc. Across the country, the reaction to these “Catcalls” was all too predictable: Where do Kentucky fans, given the program’s long and sordid history of NCAA violations, get off calling someone else a cheater? Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle crooked? National writers everywhere seemed to agree. John Adams of the Knoxville News-Sentinel (a Knoxville paper, to be sure, but the website for which Adams writes is nationwide) offered an opinion shared by just about anyone not dressed in blue: “By pointing out Pearl’s variance from the NCAA rulebook, Kentucky fans proved they have as much nerve as passion when it comes to basketball. Question: What’s the difference between an old NCAA investigator and a new one? Answer: The new one hasn’t investigated Kentucky basketball.” Aside from being hilarious, Adams is also correct. Another example was seen in an article written by ESPN’s Brian Bennett: “A small group of blue-clad fans directly behind the Tennessee bench shouted things like “cheater,” “liar” and other unprintable words at Pearl (which, given Kentucky’s own spotty NCAA history, seemed a little ironic).” UK fans are sure to point out the fact that Bennett is a Louisville native who grew up rooting for the Cards, but it is entirely possible to live in Louisville and share a relationship with the University of Lousville, and yet be completely and objectively neutral. Just ask Pat Forde.

* Happy Birthday: Finally, a big Happy Birthday to Ricky Richardson, the former Emery Freight employee who, in 1988, discovered an overnight letter which contained $1,000 and was intended for then-Kentucky recruit Chris Mills. The letter, of course, was sent by UK assistant coach Dwane Casey, and the incident resulted in massive penalties being levied by the NCAA on Kentucky. We are not sure of the exact date of Ricky’s birthday, how old he will be, or his whereabouts, but (assuming he’s still alive) Happy Birthday, Ricky.

Article written by Not Jerry Tipton

61 Comments for Not Jerry Tipton’s Friday Basketball Notebook

  1. Wildcobb Salad
    12:13 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    with a mug like that no wonder you’re a grouchy old anal wart.

  2. Wildcobb Salad
    12:14 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    and yes i know this isn’t the real JT.

  3. shorthop69
    12:17 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink


  4. thats budda
    12:17 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Man I miss that turtle

  5. Jerry Tipton
    12:19 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    My thoughts exactly

  6. tbd4567
    12:25 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    AMEN #1. Wouldn’t it be saner to say that all of Calipari’s recruits are better scorers and more productive than any of Gillespie’s even as freshmen. The other truth is that the Gillespie recruits have not gotten worse. They have all become more productive and reliable under Cal. Again an indictment of Gillespie.

    Plus, who has ever compared a top 10 player with one that is thirtieth and up. The vast majority of dominant college players come from the ranks of the top 10 players out of high school.

    As for the UCONN swipe. The proof is in the play of UK against Tenn. Who won that one? Thus, was the UCONN coach vindicated in his appraisal? I don’t think so.

    Maybe Not Jerry Tipton should spend more time writing for Billy G and less time in Kentucky. We like to think we we will be provide legitimate analysis when a story is published. Maybe you can sell this to a Texan. You can’t sell it here.

  7. John
    12:28 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Who is this guy and why is his stuff put on this site? His info shouldn’t be associated with UK at all.

  8. BigAbes4UK
    12:30 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    LOL – there’s people that still don’t get this???? HAHAHA

  9. El Dude
    12:32 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    #8 – Never underestimate the IQ of this fanbase.

  10. MtnCat
    12:36 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Man, I wake up and this happens. Which universe is this?

  11. Kwildcat
    12:36 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Why do you put this a&&hole on this site??? He is the Jock Sutherland of writers and obviously relishes this role. What a tool. KSR can do better than that!!!

  12. Dave_in_Oldham
    12:37 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Do #6 and #7 really not get it?

  13. Gullible
    12:40 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Hi, #11, nice to meet you.

  14. BigAbes4UK
    12:40 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    9 – I guess so right? That makes it even more hilarious than it already is. LOL!

  15. Evan Meyer
    12:40 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    lol @ the Turtle Power section. Classic Not Jerry Tipton.

  16. TexasBlue
    12:41 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Superb Satire. Well conceived and brilliantly executed. NJT is an outstanding addition to the site.

  17. RK Oates
    12:42 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    you have got to be kidding me! Coach Cal is in his second season at UofK what is this Jerry tipafewtoomany talking about!!! longer they stay they don’t preform well!!!! 2nd season… many left last year and went to the NBA first round? How many seniors do we have 1!!!!! what the !!!!! Get out of here!!!!!

  18. ULTard
    12:42 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Man, finally a KSR writer that tells it like it is with no agenda. Kudos.

  19. G$
    12:48 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    It was funny the first time NJT appeared on here. Now it’s gotten kind of lame.

  20. Antoine Dotson
    12:48 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    The clueless commentors make this worth 10 time the price of admission. Well, if there was a price, it would be worth 10 times more.

  21. BPsycho
    12:50 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    This comment section is golden……. lmao

  22. Let's Get Real
    12:50 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    The people that still do not get this make cardinal fans come across as intelligent. And that’s saying something.

  23. ULTard
    12:50 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    19) I disagree, we are finally getting some accurate information instead of all the fan boy BS.

  24. Al's IndiCats
    12:56 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Folks for those who “STILL” do not get it….SATIRE at it’s purest form. God I love you all!
    As for Ricky Richardson. He quit his job at Emery to go work as a Rep for a PR company that represents Pete Carroll and Tim Floyd

  25. oldkentucky
    12:56 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I feel this feature is poor satire and not helpful. It draws unnecessary attention to Jerry Tipton and probably confuses people who are not regular fans of KSR.

  26. What?
    12:57 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    @ #20…so true!!! LOL!!!!

  27. Pokey Chapman
    1:00 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Excellent post. LOL funny. Love that NJT attitude. Keep em coming until every body gets it. In other words, job for life.

  28. The Real Jerry Tipton
    1:01 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Man, you really need to learn paragraph structure. Those are waaaaaaaaaaaay too long. Trust me, I’m a professional.

  29. Bruce Pearl
    1:05 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Thanks for the pat on the back. If I had been coaching the past 8 games we would have won. We are more talented than KY and the recruits love my BBQ, here is to a #15 recruiting class next year!!!

  30. SaveUofL
    1:10 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    finaly some perspective and objectivity being given in this site. jerry tipton is the jewel of lessington’s sports coverage. and to the jerry haters…the troof hurts dont it! nuff said.

  31. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    1:11 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Fantastic as usual.

  32. 4-8-15-16-23-42
    1:12 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    how do people still not get this? It’s meant to be funny!!

  33. BlueinMemphis
    1:18 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Where’s my WorldWideWes update?

  34. bmt22033
    1:19 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Hah!!!!! This is turning out to be some of the best writing on the site. It’s pure comedy gold! I *LOVE* ‘Not Jerry Tipton’!!!

  35. Bruce Pearl/Jesus
    1:20 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Cmon guys, even I get the joke and I just got done on a 4 night co-ed party bender.

  36. leegulfcoast
    1:27 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    #32: Are you positive the seemingly bonehead comments are not written satirically?

  37. Al's IndiCats
    1:29 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Bless your heart 35, even those who might have to go to the cross gets it.

  38. Kwildcat
    1:33 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Waste of valued space…giving Jerry Turd some cred

  39. me
    1:35 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with #17, this was a very feeble attempt at stirring in some, not so good smelling human waste. It wasn’t even funny. Probably the lamest argument and support for an argument that I’ve ever read in my life!!

  40. catfan38
    1:36 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I get it, but it is toooooo long!!!!!!!

  41. Nassau65
    1:45 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Calhoun has his own problems. I wouldn’t worry too much about his comments.

  42. Not Not Jerry Tipton
    1:57 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    The real joke is that this really is Tipton, KSR is playing a joke on everyone.

  43. HardinCat58
    1:58 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Don’t forget NJT, the whole UK fanbase was extremely happy about beating a coach on Tuesday night who is winless in the SEC…what’s all the hoopla about?

  44. MissinBoogie
    2:07 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    can you all rename him ‘Not Jerry Tipturd’ so maybe the less witty will get it?

  45. NotJerryTiptonissoveryFunny
    2:08 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    “You don’t have to be a mathmetician to figure out that those 5 points would have turned UK losses into wins against North Carolina, Alabama, Ole Miss and Florida.”

  46. I can't see the comments
    2:29 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    45- That was the best joke in there.

    I really like NJT, but it’s a bit long and deja vu. The new jokes like the one about the walk-on are great, but it’s only his third or fourth post and I feel like it’s for the most part the same material again and again.

    Maybe you could make it smaller but more effective?

  47. It
    2:42 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Very good stuff. I’m surprised he didn’t showcase Cal’s obvious lack of caching skills….not calling time outs. Plus you would think NJT could have criticized John Wall for his outrageously rude behavior when doing the Y cheer. Maybe next time.
    I don’t think you guys should change a thing though. NJT is a great idea.

  48. Evilcarl
    2:42 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Hillarious. Briliant. After reading your post I get the same feeling I get after reading the real Jerry Tipton’s column. “In other news, the sun did rise today despite John Calipari not saying he wished the sun would rise today.”

  49. C.A.L.9000
    2:51 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    RJT IS AN ESCAPE GOAT. Keep it up <@:)

  50. Manbearpig
    3:01 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I can’t tell which is better, the post itself or the comments? NJT needs to be the Y

  51. Clueless
    3:11 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Why so negative? We are definately more solid and successful now than we were when Billy G was here. Come on Jerry you sound like such a jerk sometime!

  52. HoofHearted
    3:12 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I believe some the posters on here legitimately don’t get it, but I’m guessing some of these people who are feigning disgust and anger towards NJT are Louisville fans in disguise.

  53. I agree
    3:52 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Jerry Tipton is only calling it how he sees it. If you think JT is biased your right…biased against biaseness. He is a true fan that’s continuously reminds us of all the negativity about UK. That is what true support of your team looks like. Why should we get to enjoy ourselves as fans anyway. We are just using young kids for our own advantage by forcing them to practice and play a game that just causes injury and heartache. If only more people would see UK like JT maybe we could save a few of the lost souls that we call players and put an end to the abuse that is college basketball.

  54. Hartline
    4:05 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    We need to up the education in this state really bad.

  55. RidgeRunner
    4:16 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Not sure which is better…the weekly tipton story (awesome) or the unknowing-comments in here (awesome)

  56. RidgeRunner
    4:18 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    50…sorry bud. Didn’t mean to re-write your comment as I missed it earlier. Hell, maybe needed mentioning twice.

  57. RidgeRunner
    4:19 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Only thing that would match this is if this author really was Jerry Tipton..! –sonofa–

  58. tom9698
    5:00 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    36…Now that’s a good one.It’s bad enough already just knowing who and what he stands for,now we have to look at his picture.I’m feeling a little nauseous right now.

    5:05 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink


  60. Manbearpig
    7:17 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    55…it needs to b said at least twice….each week

  61. cats11
    9:18 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    51/Clueless. You just defined irony.