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:
*Runaround: During last week’s closer-than-expected win over Morehead State, the Kentucky “brand” that John Calipari touts took several hits. The first was when former UK player Sean Woods said that he did not like the “vibe” of the Kentucky players. Clearly, in order for an ex-Cat to make a statement like this publicly, something unforgivable had to have taken place. For instance, did Nerlens Noel spit on Woods? (Maybe.) Did Kyle Wiltjer kick him in the groin? (No one has said otherwise.) The possibilities are literally infinite. The next public black eye was when Morehead took a 10 point first half lead over the Cats. One would think that a team billing itself as the “defending national champion” would never fall behind by 10 to Morehead. The last and most damning was when Woods (who UK fans call “Unforgettable”) openly shoved and berated an unassuming college student on national television. Shockingly, nobody from UK has yet to issue a public apology for this last scandal. In light of this and the other controversies outlined above, one would think Calipari would have issued a mea culpa by now.
*But Anyway: The early stages of the 2012-13 season has been an unmitigated disaster for the Kentucky men’s basketball team. For starters, they lost to Duke, 75-68. And to make matters worse, Louisville lost to Duke, 76-71. While these scores would seem to suggest that Louisville is only 2 points better than the Cats, one must remember that UofL star big man Gorgui Dieng, who averages 8 ppg, missed the Duke game. Simple math (8+2) tells you that Louisville is actually 10 points better than UK. Of course, the UofL/UK is being played in the Yum! Center this season. How many points is that home court advantage worth for the Cards? Is it 10? 15? 20? Conservatively, let’s go with 15. So, when you add that figure to the previously-determined 10 point edge that Louisville has over Kentucky, this means that Planet Red (is that still a thing?) is actually a whopping 25 points better than your Kentucky Wildcats. Given this disparity, it will be interesting to see if the December 29 game actually goes forward, or like the Indiana series, John Calipari tries to get out of it.
*Sweet Pain: The University of Memphis started its season with a 2-2 record, including losses to VCU and Minnesota. This does not bode well for Kentucky. John Calipari bolted from the Tiger program just in the nick of time, presumably because he saw this implosion coming. Did he know in 2009 that within 4 years Memphis would be a middling squad struggling to stay among the ranks of the ranked? He hasn’t denied it. Of course, whatever his motivation might have been for hightailing it out of Graceland, one thing’s for certain. The University of Memphis basketball program is now a “hunka’ hunka’ burnin’ crap,” and the guy responsible for building it to such a level that it would eventually decline now resides in Lexington. How long until the same thing happens at Kentucky? We’ll see, dear readers. We’ll see.
* On this date: On this date in 2007, Kentucky sucked.