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:
*Long Way To Go: Since the summer, John Calipari has told anyone who will listen that freshman Willie Cauley-Stein is much better than originally anticipated. Frankly, this admission is shocking and sends a troubling message to Kentucky fans everywhere. Calipari is confessing that he is a terrible judge of talent. Some players (John Wall, Anthony Davis, etc.) are so good that anyone — even Calipari — can recognize it. Other players are better than expected, such as was the case with Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins, who Billy Gillispie recruited because he shrewdly recognized they would play in the NBA one day. The bottom line is that the better Cauley-Stein plays, the worse it looks for Coach Cal. With UK’s coach admitting he can’t really tell if players are good or not, one has to wonder what this means for the future of the program.
*It’s Never Alright: Earlier in the week, several details were leaked about the recruitment of the Harrison twins. Specifically, it became known that their father, Aaron Harrison, Sr., granted direct access to his sons to a representative of Under Armour. This doesn’t reflect well on Kentucky, and one has to wonder why Coach Calipari continues to recruit players whose parents deal with people who may be involved in shady behavior. To compound matters, the Harrison twins committed to UK yesterday, which means the program has sustained yet another black eye, as questions surrounding the recruitment of the twins will dog them for however long they play for UK (spoiler alert: one year). And to top it all off, the twins will presumably insist on wearing Under Armour gear at UK, which is a Nike school. In other words, there is turmoil on the horizon. It seems the Cats just can’t catch a break.
*Rock It All Away: On Tuesday, top 5 recruit Julius Randle announced he was dropping Duke and North Carolina from the list of schools he is considering. This does not bode well for Kentucky. Ever since Coach Cal arrived in Lexington, he has said he will recruit the “best of the best” players. Currently, the two premier programs in the country are Duke and UNC, so the fact that they chose to stop recruiting Randle (which is probably what happened) means one of two things: Either that they didn’t feel he was good enough to contribute, or that there are questions involving the legality of his recruitment. Either way, this makes UK look bad. And it’s one thing to beat out Duke or North Carolina. It’s quite another to beat out the schools Randle is currently considering, such as Oklahoma or North Carolina State. That’s not exactly a Who’s Who of college basketball, Cal. Is Randle part of the “best of the best?” Or the “rest of the rest?”
* On this date: On this date in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, Kentucky coach Tubby Smith promised that Kentucky would “run more this year.”