Today is the day where Kentucky’s odds of winning number eight are decided. Jodie Meeks says yay or nay today at some point to the NBA Draft. How we find out may tell us as much about the decision as when we find out. If Jodie is staying in the Draft, I expect some short statement on his website or via Twitter, and that will be the end of the discussion. If he returns, a press release, followed by calls to the reporters will signal the continuance of the Meeks era in Lexington.
Right now one has to give Jodie credit, because there is virtually NO ONE who can say for certain what he is doing. I have talked to an individual close to the team who tells me that even the players have no clue and that everyone will find out at the same time. We will announce the decision as soon as we hear it, both on here and our twitter site (twitter.com/kysportsradio…follow us and turn on your text updates). The ramifications of whatever the decision is will be poured over after. For now, we wait…
What we dont have to wait on is our first set of reports from the annual pickup game extravaganza at UK this summer. Today I spoke with an individual who attended some of the “closed door” games over the past few days and gave me the report on some of the guys below. First however, a word of warning. For those of you who havent been around these parts for very long, it bears remembering these rules about pickup game reports:
1. They are subjective. One man’s “beast” is another man’s burden.
2. Pickup basketball is not the same as what we see in more organized affairs. Thus guys with limited defensive abilities (Josh Carrier, etc) can be great pickup players, while hiding the skills that keep them off the court in regular games.
3. Some guys play better in the summer and we never see it during the year…what is known as the “Jules Camara” rule.
With that in mind, the individual I spoke with said that this weekend the whole team played minus Daniel Orton, Darnell Dodson, Jodie Meeks and Jon Hood. The games were fast paced and according to the viewer, “faster than anything we saw last year.” What was most striking to the person I spoke with was that the players seem to be much more athletic as a whole and that “there are no weak links” in the games. With that said, four people stood out:
John Wall: According to my guy, “we havent seen anything like Wall at UK in a long time.” He can do everything in the open court and he is simply unguardable one on one. What was most impressive to the viewer however was the guy’s court vision. “I love the way he passes the ball and finds the exact opening to get the ball to his teammates. In pickup games, passing is always terrible…not when John Wall plays.”
Patrick Patterson: You can tell when watching Patrick this summer that he is trying to work on creating a more diverse game for next season. “He spent a lot of time out on the perimeter and working on his handles. He can play a variety of ways, but it looks like he is focusing on handling the ball and hitting the 15 foot jumper.” However what was most impressive to the viewer was his leadership. “You can tell immediately that this is his team. The guys listen to him and they dont fool around. He has everyone’s respect.” Gotta love that.
DeMarcus Cousins: Mixed review on Cousins. On the one hand, he is physically unbelievable. “You cant imagine how big he is. He has to be at least 280 pounds and is just huge. He could use to lose some weight, but at the same time, I saw him do a 360 dunk in flip flops.” But the concern is his effort. “He reminded me of Randolph Morris. He just doesnt have the energy I hope for. Calipari will surely take care of that, but he gets beat too often for a guy of his skills.”
Eric Bledsoe: For the viewer I spoke with, Bledsoe was the revelation. “I knew the guy was supposed to be good, but he is amazing. He cant be taller than like 5’11″…but he can FLY and take one step and dunk hard. I have never seen anything like it.” According to the viewer, he dominates in the open court. “If there is someone who can slow him down when he gets running, I would like to see it.”
So there you go…the first of the reports. When I give you these through the year, enjoy them for what they are worth, which is entertainment. When I see one in person, I will go more in depth.
Jodie’s decision comes today…stay tuned and we will give it asap. Until then, sleep tight and dream of #8 if all goes right.