The 2012-13 season is still a week 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:
*That’s All She Wrote: John Calipari’s reputation as master recruiter took a hit last week when it was announced that Andrew Wiggins announced that he is reclassifying to the class of 2013. When he does so, he will become the #1 player in that class. This will absolutely cripple Kentucky’s recruiting. The Cats currently have commitments from 3 of the top 5 — and 4 of the top 15 — seniors in the country. However, when Wiggins vaults to the top spot, that means that UK will only have pledges from 2 of the top 5 players in the class, as James Young will be moved from 5 to 6. Likewise, when Marcus Lee gets bumped from 15th to 16th, that means UK will have only landed 3 — not 4 — of the top 15 players in the nation. I tell you what, if a few more players reclassify, Calipari might not have any top 100 players. This is a perfect example of why coaches such as Louisville’s Rick Pitino don’t even bother recruiting elite players. You just never know what’s going to happen.
*What You Know: Last week at SEC Media Day in Birmingham, Florida coach Billy Donovan voiced his displeasure with the ESPN series “All-Access: Kentucky,” by saying it isn’t right to use the program to gain a recruiting advantage. Frankly, I was wondering when one of John Calipari’s peers would have the guts to point this out. After all, does anyone actually think that it’s just a coincidence that in the same year that the program airs, Kentucky has received a commitment from 4 top 15 players? And not only that, but can Calipari’s defenders prove that the Cats’ 2012 national championship wasn’t the result of the publicity that the program would eventually receive thanks to the World Wide Leader? I haven’t heard anyone even try to make this argument, so I guess not. Let’s look at the numbers. Even though there are over 300 Division I basketball teams, only one of them is recruiting on such a high level right now, and — lo and behold — it just so happens to be the exact same one who was given its own series on ESPN. If you think this is mere happenstance, then I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.
*Whatever You Like: In last week’s Blue/White scrimmage, Willie Cauley-Stein absolutely dominated. He ran the floor, he showed offensive skill, he rebounded, he blocked shots, he did it all. At times, he looked like the best player on the floor. This does not bode well for Kentucky. If the UK starters (who were supposed to be trying to guard the 7 footer) couldn’t stop Cauley-Stein, who was ranked about 40th coming out of high school, what chance do they have against a truly elite big man? Cody Zeller, for example? After watching WCS play like an All-American, many Kentucky fans probably had the same thought: “No wonder Calipari backed out of the Indiana series.”
* On this date: On this date in 2008, every starter on the eventual national champion North Carolina Tar Heels received an “A” on their Swahili final exam. A feat made even more impressive in light of the fact that it was a Sunday. In early November. And all the players on the team had gone home, thanks to UNC’s annual Halloween Vacation, which lasts 3 months.