The 2012-13 season is still a few months away. However, the guess here is that the Cats will not be able to improve upon last season’s performance, which saw losses to hated rival Indiana (which didn’t even make it past the Sweet 16 lol) and Vanderbilt (which is more known for its academics than athletics). To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*I Told You So: There have been many comparisons made between Nerlens Noel and Anthony Davis. However, the conventional wisdom is that Noel will not be able to duplicate the feats of Davis. Yes, Noel — like Davis — was the #1 player in the country last year. And yes, Noel — like Davis — is a once-in-a generation shotblocker. And sure, Noel — like Davis — may be very be the #1 pick in the NBA Draft next year. And it is entirely possible that Noel — like Davis — will be the SEC Player of the year, Defensive Player of the year, and National Players of the Year. However, Davis topped off his year by winning a gold medal, and I can guarantee that Noel will not be able to say the same thing a year from now. So while UK fans crow about John Calipari’s ability to land the best big man in the country again, these boasts ring hollow, and only serve to put undue pressure on the young Massachussetts native, because no matter what Kentucky fans say, there is no way he can do what Anthony Davis did. I guarantee it.
*It’s Just A Matter Of Time: The University of Kentucky basketball program suffered a public relations black eye last week when it was announced that Shabazz Muhammad has not yet been declared eligible by the NCAA, as a result of receiving improper benefits while playing for his AAU team. Fans may recall that even though these eligibility issues were a matter of public knowledge at the time of his recruitment, UK nevertheless continued to show a great deal of interest in Muhammad. Given the history of Kentucky and the run-ins the program has had with the NCAA in the past, one would wonder why the school would continue to pursue him once questions surrounding his eligibility first began to surface. Perhaps in the future, Calipari will be a bit more prudent in deciding who to recruit. For the time being, Kentucky fans everywhere will just have to wait this out, and hope that the public eventually forgets that yet another (potential) Kentucky recruit has been deemed (temporarily) ineligible by the NCAA.
*Diggin Up Bones: January 10, 2013 has the potential to be a very painful day for the University of Kentucky basketball program. There is a very good chance that Vanderbilt will raise their championship banner that day, thereby reminding UK fans everywhere of the painful defeat the Cats suffered at the hands of the Commodores last year. When Calipari signed his much-ballyhooed 2011 recruiting class, it was naturally assumed that the Cats would win an SEC Championship. However, they were ultimately denied by the ‘Dores in March, and it seems that Kevin Stallings may very well gleefully remind UK of that fact when SEC play tips off in January. So far all those Cat fans, players and coaches who hoped to forget what happened in New Orleans last Spring, there will be a banner in Memorial Coliseum which will make it impossible.
* On this date: On this date five months ago, John Calipari had never, EVER won a national championship. (Ever.)