The Andrew Wiggins hoopla is done and gone and we are getting close to summer arriving. So it is time to get a few notes on the barbie:
— We will begin the 2014 class focus in earnest next week but for now lets take one more celebratory look at the 2013 class joining. We can all debate what the starting lineup will be next year and Kentucky has a lot of options. But let’s assume for argument sake that the one I think is most likely takes the floor:
PG: Andrew Harrison
SG: Aaron Harrison
SF: Alex Poythress
PF: Julius Randle
C: Willie Cauley-Stein
In this lineup, the 3/4 are basically the same position and the team is super athletic and quick. If this is the lineup, Kentucky will LIKELY START FIVE FUTURE LOTTERY PICKS. Read that sentence again. Five future lottery picks. Then on the second team:
PG: Dominique Hawkins/Jarrod Polson
SG: James Young
SF: Kyle Wiltjer
PF: Marcus Lee
C: Dakari Johnson
We will probably never see this actual lineup in practice due to its tremendous size, but for argument’s sake, THE SECOND TEAM HAS THREE FUTURE FIRST ROUND PICKS, plus Kyle Wiltjer who is likely to be drafted somewhere eventually. Your reserve team has three guys who will be first round picks, all of whom could play their way into the lottery eventually. That is insane.
So would it have been nice to get Wiggins? Undoubtedly yes. But, it doesn’t mean things aren’t great as is.
— You heard Calipari talk yesterday about how he would no longer recruit in a way to “protect” players. What does that mean? Well if you use your Calipari decoder ring, you know that it means that he won’t do what plagued his group last year when he tried to protect Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin. Calipari believed in both guys a great deal and in recruiting, tried to make sure not to bring in players that might trump them. When Dez Wells (who went to Maryland) and Arsalan Kazemi (who went to Oregon) became possibilities, Kentucky looked at both and wanted both. But then Calipari made the decision on both, to back down on the recruitments. Part of that decision may have been the desire to not express lack of confidence in two freshman who he knew might have fragile egos at first. He now realizes that was a mistake. Both of those players would have helped UK last year in a transfer role and the one transfer UK did get, Julius Mays, often led the team at the end of the year. He kept Poythress and Goodwin from competition, something he will never do again. Competition is going to make the players go and if they don’t thrive on it, then it will be on them.
— Big thanks to the folks at K&G Tire Pros in Oldham County for hosting the show today. Huge crowd of UK fans came out and it was a great time. Here we were after the UL fan stopped staring us down. You can get the podcasts here:
— On the football side of things, Kentucky may see up to 3 commitments in the next three weeks as a lot of big targets make their decision. Darius West will be choosing on May 30th and things look good for the Cats, as the other recruits press hard for someone they really want to add to the class. Add in WR Braxton “Honeynut” Berrios (the best nickname ever by the way…this kid will be a fan favorite) and the Cats could continue to increase the class soon. The key for UK is to continue to spread momentum throughout the summer leading into a season that may be difficult. I think you will see these decisions spread out in such a way so as to make that happen and continue the upwardly mobile rise of UK football in ways that many (including me) didn’t think were possible.
Big weekend ahead as UK Softball hosts its first regional in its history. On our way out, a salute to one of the legendary drivers of NASCAR, Dick Trickle. He committed suicide at the age of 71, a legend of the old school NASCAR ways. He is famous for his name (which people said on Sportscenter after every race) and his unique personality as shown by this video below…during a race in Talladega, Trickle takes a minute to enjoy a cigarette while driving around the track. Such characters are rare indeed. RIP Dick.