The 2012-13 season is still a few weeks 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:
*Unanswered Prayers: John Calipari recently took to his website to blast Kentucky fans. It seems the UK coach is more than a little miffed at the lack of interest in the upcoming Alumni game, which is scheduled for tomorrow at Rupp Arena. On Sunday, he posted an entry at CoachCal.com in which he lambasted Kentucky faithful for not selling out Rupp Arena, and said that he is bitterly “disappointed” in UK fans everywhere. It is not clear how Big Blue Nation will respond to being publicly lambasted by Coach Cal, but when I took a poll of an old lady at the Liquor Barn on Harrodsburg Road, and asked her how she felt to hear that Calipari is “disappointed” in her, the response she gave was telling: “Sad, I guess. Who are you?” In his three years on the job, this appears to be the first public spat between Calipari and Kentucky fans, so it will be interesting to see if BBN forgives him. Of course, if the Alumni game isn’t a sell-out, we’ll have our answer.
*In Another’s Eyes: Former Wildcat Josh Harrellson dropped a bombshell recently when he said that the coach who was solely responsible for getting him drafted was one Billy Clyde Gillispie. That’s right. According to Harrellson, he made it to the NBA not because of John Calipari, but despite him. In a recent interview with ESPN’s Jason King in 2011, the player known as “Jorts” said that the only reason he, Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins got drafted was because of Gillispie: “He made all three of us [Harrellson, Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins] be able to do things we’ve never been able to do before. It’s probably why we’re here today, because of how mentally tough he made us.” Shocking words, to be sure, but Miller and Liggins both impliedly agreed with Harrellson by not refuting him. (Of course, even if they do dispute what Harrellson said, they’re probably just being nice.) And don’t think for a second that the big man from Missouri is the only one who thinks Gillispie is a much better coach than Calipari. Just this past week, Kansas coach Bill Self commented that Billy Clyde was an exceptional coach. He did not offer the same kind words about Coach Cal.
*Shameless: It was reported last week that former Duke player Lance Thomas bought $100,000 worth of jewelry in December of his senior year at the school, by paying $30,000 in cash to a New York City jeweler and being extended the remaining $70,000 in credit. This does not bode well for Kentucky. For several years, the rap against Duke was that it was too prim, too proper, too straight-laced and too vanilla to compete with such “cool” programs like UK. However, allegations that a Blue Devil was walking around New York with $30,000 in cash, and decided to purchase six figures worth of bling, well, money can’t buy that kind of “street cred.” Used to be, schools like UK could recruit against Duke by telling potential recruits that the program was boring, and the players were nerds. But now that it’s public knowledge that Duke players wear diamond-studded pendants, earrings, crosses, etc? And that they walk around with pounds of cabbage in their pockets? Look for Coach K’s recruiting to really pick up now. And if the NCAA should actually punish Duke for violating rules regarding impermissible benefits? Not even Calipari could recruit with Coach K if that happens.
* On this date: On this date in 2007, Billy Gillispie got drunk and went to Merrick Inn, probably.