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:
*New Year’s Day: It was announced last week that Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight will be announcing Kentucky games this season on ESPN. This move was presumably made in response to the wide array of pro-UK announcers who had been calling Kentucky games previously. For example, ex-Kentucky assistant Jimmy Dykes called several UK games in prior years, and he used to coach in Lexington. Also, ex-Cat Larry Conley announced Kentucky games as well. (Note: This was several years ago and for a different network.) And even though he’s not an announcer, Digger Phelps has been a presence at UK games in the past. On one occasion last year, he practically waved blue pom poms on camera when he called Kentucky “good.” Of course, there is always the risk that Knight — just like his predecessors — will be a little too friendly towards the Big Blue in light of the success he enjoyed at the expense of the Cats. During his coaching days, he won a staggering 15 times over UK, while losing only 18.
*Pride (In The Name Of Love): It was revealed a few days ago that Kentucky spent in the neighborhood of $300,000 for the lighting that was used at Big Blue Madness. Unfortunately, this kind of narcissism is all too common in contemporary athletics, particularly in Lexington. It is hard to fathom that while children are starving all over the United States and unemployment hovers near 8%, John Calipari is OK with spending almost half a million dollars on a few light bulbs, just so everyone can see him better. What about our $16 trillion national debt? Wouldn’t the money have been better spent to help whittle that down? As long as this type of “hey look at me, I’m the bee’s knees and my team is the cat’s pajamas” attitude is so prevalent at the University of Kentucky, American society’s ills aren’t going away. Whatever happened to love of country?
*Bad: On Wednesday, UK got a commitment from top 15 prospect Marcus Lee. This does not bode well for Kentucky. Two weeks ago, UK got verbal pledges from Aaron and Andrew Harrison, ranked #3 and #4, respectively, in the Rivals top 150 for the class of 2013. Then last week, they got a commitment from James Young, who is ranked #8 on that list. Lee, meanwhile, can be found all the way down at #15. In other words, Each player who commits to UK is worse than the one before. In fact, simple math tells you that at #15, Lee is 5 times worse than Aaron Gordon, who checks in at #3. If this trend continues, the next player who commits to Kentucky will be ranked #75, then the one after that will be #375, then the one after that will be #1,875, and so on. I believe that’s what is called “resting on your laurels.”
* On this date: On this date in 1813, Bobby Knight was born.