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:
*As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone: Kentucky fans were outraged when the local media diligently and repeatedly informed the NCAA that UK wrongfully celebrated John Calipari’s “500th” win. This kind of vitriol is what differentiates UK fans from other fans. Did Ohio State fans get mad at the media when “TattooGate” broke? Did Miami Hurricane fans get mad at the media when it was reported that Luther Campbell was making cash payments to Miami players? Did Ted Bundy’s family get mad at the media when it was reported that he killed over 30 women? Of course not. It makes no sense for journalists who cover the Cats to get lambasted by Big Blue Nation for doing nothing more than dutifully advising the NCAA that implicit rules are being violated, sort of. Consider: Do Louisville fans get upset with Rick Bozich and Pat Forde when they write articles that are critical of Rick Pitino and Tom Jurich?
*I’d Love to Lay You Down: A week ago, ESPN writer Johnette Howard penned a brilliant article on the controversy surrounding UK’s insistence on celebrating Calipari’s “500th” win. In her epic piece, she made several insightful points that nobody in the national media had picked up on. For example, Calipari gets a free pass from the media simply because he has a “terrific personality.” Granted, he’s never been named in an NCAA investigation, but hey. Smoke, fire, etc. It’d be nice if a national writer had the cajones to mention Calipari’s past every once in a while. Howard also pointed out that with all the other cheating going on (Ohio State, USC, the Fab 5), somebody has to pay. Why not the most visible college basketball coach in the country? And if those other programs are cheating, then it only stands to reason that Calipari is doing something wrong. I mean, he just has to be. Right? She also astutely mentioned that Kentucky is just mad because Enes Kanter was ruled ineligible last season. So what better way to exact revenge on the NCAA than by having a 90 second ceremony that wasn’t televised? Again, just a brilliant piece of journalism from a brilliant writer. In fact, I’d argue that this was the greatest article on college basketball that Johnette Howard has ever written.
*It’s Only Make Believe: John Calipari sent shockwaves around the Bluegrass yesterday when he admitted that his players, his program and his team are all overrated. While talking to the media in Louisville, Coach Cal actually conceded that UK players are perceived to be “20% better” than they really are. “Sometimes you’re taller, you’re faster, you’re quicker, you shoot better, but also, your draft position is better, your shoe contract is better, your marketing dollars are better.” He went on to say that DeAndre Liggins and Josh Harrelson are terrible, and that if they played anywhere else besides UK, people would realize it. “DeAndre and Josh have benefited by it. I think the opportunities they’re going to get because they were at Kentucky will be more so than if they went somewhere else.” A shocking admission, frankly, from someone who likes to call himself a “players’ coach.”
* On This Date: On this date in 2010, Daniel Orton was somehow selected in the First Round of the NBA Draft.