The 2012-13 season is upon us. 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:
*Collide: After Jon Hood scored 18 points in Kentucky’s Blue/White Scrimmage, coach John Calipari told reporters that the Madisonville native “can’t play any better than that.” Wow. It’s not often you hear a coach publicly mock one of his players like that, but for Cal to tell any and everybody that Hood will never ever improve no matter how hard he tries? Shocking. It can only be assumed that Hood privately confronted his coach after making those statements, and possibly even threw punches, because he didn’t even get in the Northwood game. Subsequently, Hood presumably was forced to apologize to Calipari (against his will, in all likelihood), because he did play a few minutes against Transylvania. It’s not often that a top 3 team has its season derailed by dissension before the first official game, but that appears to be the case here.
*Only God Knows Why: On Tuesday, it was reported that former UK player Jules Camara was wanted in Lexington on felony gun charges. This gives John Calipari and the Kentucky program a black eye that it did not need. Since arriving in Lexington, Calipari has publicly made an effort to reach out to ex-players, and has repeatedly said that anyone who plays for UK will forever be a part of the program. In other words, Jules Camara — who is a part of the program — is being accused of committing a felony. It will be interesting to see if the UK players can block this out, though the guess here is that this distraction will catch up with the Cats at some point this season. If they ultimately fall short of the national championship, it’s safe to say that JulesGate will be the primary culprit. It’s not often that a top 3 team has its season derailed by dissension before the first official game, but that appears to be the case here.
*Care: On Wednesday, UK coach John Calipari and the Kentucky players held a telethon for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. This does not bode well for Kentucky. While some players on UK’s roster (Nerlens Noel, Sam Malone) are from the Northeast, and were personally affected by the storm, other players on the team (Jon Hood, Alex Poythress, Archie Goodwin) are from the Southeast, and really don’t have a dog in this fight. So what happens when, say, Willie Cauley-Stein (from Kansas) doesn’t put forth the type of effort in soliciting donations that Brian Long (from New Jersey) does? I’ll tell you what happens: A fistfight. Calipari is known to engage in this type of attention-seeking behavior, but he probably should have thought this one through, because it’s fraught with danger. It’s not often that a top 3 team has its season derailed by dissension before the first official game, but that appears to be the case here.
* On this date: On this date in 2011, as Kentucky was about to tip off its season, it had been over 13 long years since the Cats had won a championship. 5 months later, thanks solely to a Kendall Marshall sprained ankle, the drought finally ended.