The 2012-13 season has started. 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:
*I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish: In Kentucky’s season opener against Maryland, junior guard Jarrod Polson announced his presence to the college basketball world by scoring 10 points and dishing out 3 assists in 22 minutes of action. It appeared that a star was born, and that Polson would prove to be a more than capable stand-in for Ryan Harrow, who was sidelined with flu-like symptoms. However, 4 days later in the next game against Duke, Polson was a non-factor, going scoreless in just 12 minutes of playing time. There are only 2 possible reasons for Polson’s regression: #1, Duke scouted him, and because he was unable to sneak up on the Blue Devils like he did the Terps, they knew how to effectively defend him. As a result, his relative lack of natural talent precluded him from making a significant impact on the game. #2, John Calipari is a career killer. Since Polson hasn’t fessed up to the scenario outlined in #1, we can only assume the latter. of course, there is precedent for Calipari ruining a player’s career. In 2009-10, sharpshooter Darnell Dodson opened up his UK career on a high note by scoring 15 points in a win over Morehead State. However, by the end of his only season in Lexington, his confidence had gone up in smoke, as he only managed 12 points in four NCAA Tournament games. The evidence is clear. The longer players stay at UK under Calipari’s tutelage, the worse they get. Why else would so many of them leave after just one year?
*Girlfriend In A Coma: At halftime of Kentucky’s game against Duke, John Calipari created a firestorm by telling a national television audience, via Andy Katz, that Duke was “flopping all over the place.” Sour grapes much? Was Cal actually on to something, or was he just mad because Kentucky was going to eventually lose that game? When it comes to taking a charge, the rules in basketball are clear. If the referee calls it a charge, it’s a charge. And it should be noted that Coach Cal was the first coach to call out Duke for flopping at halftime of a game on ESPN this year, which means that his opinion isn’t commonly-held. While thousands of people on Twitter praised Cal for his comments (many of whom weren’t even Kentucky fans), it goes without saying that college basketball fans in general have an overwhelmingly favorable opinion on John Calipari and UK, so these hosannas can pretty much be dismissed. And when you get right down to it, the allegation doesn’t even make any sense. Why would a team need to rely on the cowardly practice of flopping when its roster is stocked with superior athletes at every single position? Shaking my head.
*This Charming Man: Last week, UK and John Calipari received signed commitment paperwork from their five highly-touted recruits, giving the Cats the #1 ranked class in the country for the 5th consecutive year. This does not bode well for Kentucky. Calipari has his eye on mega-stars Andrew Wiggins, Aaron Gordon and Julius Randle, and once they found out that UK was already in receipt of this much star power, it had to hurt Kentucky’s chances of landing them. To confirm this, a reporter reached out to all three uncommitted players. Specifically, an email was sent which posed the following question: “Does the fact that Kentucky’s roster already has this much talent, which means you’ll be overshadowed and barely even touch the ball, make you more likely or less likely to commit to play there? If I do not receive a response to this email within 30 seconds, then that means your answer is ‘less likely’ and that you really don’t like John Calipari.” Needless to say, none of the young men replied within 30 seconds. Enjoy your 5th straight #1 recruiting class, Cat fans, but know this: If Coach Cal hadn’t already gotten commitments from several top 15 players, it could have been even better.
* On this date: On this date in 10 days ago, Duke beat Kentucky.