Basketball season is here and the 2012 Blue/White scrimmage is just hours away. Can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday we were watching Anthony Davis and Co. run the table in the NCAA Tournament. I guess it’s true what they say: Time flies when your favorite team is awesome at basketball.
Here’s what to watch for tonight…
1. Will someone emerge from the Beckham/Hood/Polson trio?
Calipari made it very clear that he needs one of those three players to step it up and contribute this season. The Big Blue Madness scrimmage didn’t do Jon Hood any favors, so maybe he’s out to redeem himself tonight.
Fans will also be getting their first glimpse of the 2012-13 version of Twany Beckham tonight. He didn’t participate in the Big Blue Madness scrimmage but he has recovered from the back injury and he’s ready to get going. A practice report earlier this week on CoachCal.com said Beckham has been causing problems for Alex Poythress. That’s good to hear.
2. Who is that white guy?
It’s Tod Lanter. The new kid.
Lanter joined the team as a practice player after Big Blue Madness. Expect him to participate tonight.
Look out, Brian Long.
3. Nerlens versus Willie.
This is the only matchup you’ll see tonight with real, star-quality competition. Cauley-Stein got the best of Noel at Madness when he threw down a two-handed dunk over the top of him on a fastbreak. Now that Nerlens has had almost two weeks to watch the clip over and over on YouTube, I’m sure he’s out for payback.
Look for Nerlens to try to posterize the 7-footer.
4. Nerlens with Willie.
As Cal has mentioned a couple times already this preseason, Nerlens and Willie will play together, but it’s tough to do right now with no one to match up against them. It’s unlikely that we’ll see it tonight, but there’s still a slim chance we could see a glimpse of the Twin Towers playing together.
Maybe this lineup?…
[Tod Lanter, Brian Long, Sam Malone, Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein] vs. [Ryan Harrow, Julius Mays, Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress and Kyle Wiltjer]
5. Will Kyle Wiltjer look like Larry Bird 2 again?
Wiltjer was unstoppable at Big Blue Madness. He showed an array of new moves and knocked down nearly every shot he took. Hell, half of us were ready to give him the POY award.
Was he feeding off the energy from his Montell Jordan introduction that night? Or will we see it again tonight?
Other things to look for:
— Alex Poythress dunking
— Ryan Harrow dribbling
— Ryan Harrow dunking
— Brian Long appreciating
It all starts at 7:00 ET on Fox Sports South. Live blog at 6:45.