The season’s over. To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*Heartaches Of A Fool : Earlier this week, Boston Celtic PG Rajon Rondo was suspended for a game in the NBA playoffs for coming in contact with an official. At the same time, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer was at the center of a corruption scandal. This does not bode well for John Calipari and Kentucky. Ever since he was hired at UK, Calipari has gone out of his way to reach out to former UK players and make sure they remained part of the program. As such, he is directly responsible for each and every act committed by any player who has ever worn the blue and white. It may not seem fair, but it is. If Cal is going to take credit when former players do well, he must also shoulder all of the blame when these same players run afoul of the law. And of course, it warrants mentioning that until he returned to campus last summer for an all-star game, Rondo had never been in trouble for bumping into a referee. Coincidence? No. Not by a long shot.
*Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain : On Tuesday, top 15 junior Troy Williams was supposed to announce his college choice between Kentucky and North Carolina. However, at the last minute, he postponed his decision. This does not bode well for John Calipari and Kentucky. It had been rumored before this that UNC was the leader for his services. Of course, given the notorious unreliability of rumors, one can only assume that UK was actually leader, and that his decision to delay the announcement was because he decided maybe he doesn’t want to go to Kentucky after all. To add fuel to the fire, Williams was quoted recently as saying that he favors a “fast-paced style of play,” and that he would prefer to peddle his wares at a school that employs an uptempo game. North Carolina, of course, does just that. Likewise, he said he wanted to play somewhere he could “compete for a championship.” North Carolina, of course, competes for championships almost every year. (For example, UNC has been to two consecutive Elite Eights. How many schools can say that?) Lastly, he said that he wants to play somewhere with “great fan support.” North Carolina, of course, has great fan support kind of. So as we near his decision, all the tea leaves seem to be pointing in the same direction: Chapel Hill. (And for anyone who believes in omens, it should be noted that Williams has almost the exact same name as the UNC coach. Spooky.)
*Uncloudy Day: When Indiana built a trophy case in Assembly Hall commemorating the Hoosiers’ thrilling last second win over Kentucky last December, Big Blue Nation laughed. This does not bode well for John Calipari and Kentucky. The taunts coming from the Bluegrass were founded in the notion that a supposedly “elite” program, which IU fancies itself to be, would never stoop so low as to celebrate a meaningless non-conference win in December, particularly when it was against a team that would go on to win the infinitely more significant rematch in the NCAA Tournament. However, these accusations are patently hypocritical. Would an “elite” program, as is ostensibly the case with Kentucky, throw a party after beating a below average Drexel team in an irrelevant affair contested in December? And would a real blueblood go bananas by giving the coach a game ball after a regular season win with nothing at stake? In fact, in this latter example, the NCAA was so miffed by UK’s postgame antics that they made Kentucky apologize for the celebration. So the next time Big Blue Nation feels like mocking Indiana fans for enthusiastically celebrating one single win, remember, he who is without sin…
* On this date: On this date in 1988, Kentucky was not on probation. (But they soon would be.)