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:
*Dream On: Earlier this week, Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich announced that he hopes to sign head basketball coach Rick Pitino to a contract extension through the year 2022. This is not what Kentucky fans wanted to hear, as it would guarantee a rough 10 years for the Cats. It’s basic math, really. Pitino has a career winning percentage of 73%. Statistically, in other words, he wins 10 out of every 14 games he coaches. And since he is currently 0-4 against John Calipari and Kentucky, this means that he is guaranteed to win the next 10 games in the series. Can you say “complete and utter domination?” Get ready, Big Blue Nation. The next decade figures to be a long one. And for those who doubt Pitino will still be coaching Louisville in 10 years, remember this: If Rick Pitino is known for anything, it’s his ability to last for a long, long time.
*Same Old Song And Dance: On Monday, the media picked Kentucky to win the SEC. This was a nice little jab by these writers directed at John Calipari. By tabbing the Cats as the favorite, the media has guaranteed that if they fall short, Calipari will be on the hot seat at year’s end. How impatient are Kentucky fans? Consider: UK’s football team failed to win the SEC this year, and Cat fans are ready to run Joker Phillips out of town. They also failed to win the SEC in basketball in 2007 and 2009, and both times, the Kentucky coach was gone at season’s end. Calipari isn’t immune from these pressures, either. In 2011, UK failed to win the SEC and the only thing that placated the Big Blue Faithful was a run to the Final Four. Would Calipari have been given the boot had they not made it to Houston that year? Luckily for Coach Cal, we’ll never know. So this is basically a lose-lose for Calipari. Either Kentucky wins the SEC, and he is criticized for only meeting the bare minimum expectations, or they fall short, and he’s looking for a new job. Well played, scribes. Well played indeed.
*Sweet Emotion: The NCAA announced last week that freshman Nerlens Noel has been cleared to play. This does not bode well for Kentucky. When reached for comment, an NCAA spokesman confirmed that Noel is cleared “for now,” and that circumstances could theoretically change in the future. Similarly, he refused to promise that Noel would play every game this season. For example, if Noel robbed a train, his eligibility could be in jeopardy. Likewise, the spokesman refused to guarantee that Noel wouldn’t miss any time due to injury. And when asked to vouch with 100% certitude that Noel wouldn’t be abducted by aliens right before the NCAA Tournament, the spokesman hung up. Was he trying to send a message? Buckle up, Cat fans. This figures to be a bumpy ride.
*On this date: On this date in 1985, little Petey Thamel was named “Hall Monitor of the Month” at Millard Fillmore Elementary in Great Neck, NY, after issuing a record 437 citations in only 21 school days.