Because let’s be honest – there’s not much to do in the off season other than wait. Here are the ABC’s of things to occupy your mind as we head in to four months of slow news.
A for Alex Poythress. One of the key returnees, I predict Poythress will take on a Darius Miller type role with next years team. When they need consistency and a steady hand, bring in Poythress to make the hustle plays and do what needs to be done to get the ship back on track.
B for Barker, Drew. He may not be the starting QB his freshman year (but don’t count him out), but if Kentucky has success next season it will be in large part due to this kid. Not only is he a huge talent that got Kentucky’s name out there with the big boys, he was Stoops best Troop when it came to recruiting. When Kentucky football turns around over the next few years, it’s as much Barker’s doing as anyone’s.
C for Coach Calipari – particularly his hip. Cal underwent successful hip surgery earlier this week, and will spend the next month or so recovering. Doesn’t sound like someone who will be shopping his name around to any NBA jobs… but more so someone who’s resting up for a monster of a season next year.
D for the Derby. It’s tomorrow. I can’t be in Kentucky, so I need you all to celebrate accordingly for me.
E is for Elam, Matt. The only recruit more highly heralded than Drew Barker on the football team, Matt has the chance to be a stud at Kentucky from day one. It’s too early to tell what role he will play next year, but he’s already losing the weight he needed to be, so a bright future looks to be ahead for the big guy from John Hardin.
F is for the Funkhouser blog. During the summer, not everything can be off season obsession. Check out the Funkhouser blog for more pop-culture related posts.
G is for Governor Beshear, who will be joining Matt and a few other representatives to debate the progression of the Rupp Arena funding on the radio on May 20th.
H is for, who else, the Harrison’s. Next year was going to be good either way, but with the addition of the Harrison twins, Kentucky looks to have one of the best back courts in the nation and definitely the best front court. What do you do against them, other than pray? And let’s be honest, we know God is a big blue fan, so good luck.
I is for Indiana. Because man. I normally don’t like punching down, but when you have an annoying gnat buzzing around you for a year, sometimes schadenfreude is unavoidable. Poor Indiana. If their fans weren’t so awful, I might actually feel sorry for them.
J is for Julius. Where he ends up this summer may shift a lot of Kentucky fans NBA allegiances. There’s a chance he ends up in Boston with Rondo (as long as he doesn’t get traded), or in LA with Jodie Meeks. Philly is in play to team up with Noel, and while I would hate for him to slip to 7th, if he does he may end up with Demarcus Cousins in Sacramento. As long as it’s not Utah, I’ll be happy.
K is for Kaminsky and/or Karl Towns. One is a player we may run in to again in next years tournament (Wisconsin looks to be set up for a good year,) and Karl Towns has a lot of the same skills of Kaminsky. A big time center that can bring the ball out and shoot it. Can Karl out-Kaminsky Kaminsky? Only time will tell.
L is for Lyles, Trey. The super talented forward out of Indianapolis joins Kentucky’s monster front line… but can he play the three? The SF position is the biggest question mark for Kentucky this season, and if Lyles can figure out how to fill that hole, look for him to be the x-factor.
M is for Mint Juleps. I may not be in Kentucky for the Derby, but I can convince my office to have Mint Juleps on a Friday afternoon. And I did.
N is for Nine. Enough said.
O is for Orlando Antigua. We are all going to be USF fans this year as we watch someone we all consider part of the BBN family get his first crack at a head coaching job. We can’t wait to see what you do down there, Orlando.
P is for Petrino, Bobby. Can he succeed at Louisville again? Will his slide in recruiting continue? Will he be able to beat Kentucky without an entire summer to prepare for them? Will the jokes ever get old? How long will he actually be at Louisville? I’m not Louisville obsessed, but this story line is far more fascinating than people are making it out to be.
Q is for quality time. Is your significant other not in to Kentucky sports? Well I don’t approve of your taste, but now’s the time to spend with them. Next year is going to be a doozy of a season, so get all your quality time in now… BBN will be your significant other in just a few months.
R is for Rohrssen, Barry. The newest UK Assistant is predicted to tear up the recruiting trail, something Calipari generally does pretty well at on his own. Can Rohrssen take Kentucky to an even higher level? Is it possible to get better than the best? You’re move, Slice.
S is for summer school. Who will show up this summer in Lexington to take classes? Jodie Meeks just finished his degree, Steve Masiello still needs to. Will we see other former players at the Craft center, practicing with next years cats?
T is for Tattoo’s. Please stop. The National Championship tattoo was awesome, because it almost came true. The Willie tattoo was awesome, because Willie told him to put his money where his mouth was and he followed through. The rest… look. Tattoo’s are cool, I like them. But if you’re explaining to your kids in twenty years why you have a 19 year old’s likeness on your back, it’s more in the ‘weird’ territory than awesome.
U is for UT Martin, the next Kentucky game to get amped for. Just a little under four months from now, we will get our first look at Stoops Troops, 2014 edition.
V is for Velocity. I’m not a huge baseball guy, but what A.J. Reed is doing is pretty impressive. Not only does he have 20 homers this season already, he has the 4th best school record ERA as a pitcher. Dude is straight balling, if you’re not paying attention, you should be now.
W is for the Washington Wizards, and one John Wall. Wall has made the leap from star to super star this year, both with his handling of the media and his teams success. Most people around the league are now preferring Wall to Kyrie to build a team around (though it’s not super fair to Kyrie, because he has to play in Cleveland), and the Wizards are one off season move of grabbing KD from becoming a legitimate title contender.
X is for X-rays. The thing Ryan Lemond may have to get when he injures himself trying to dance with the dancing guy at Rupp Arena.
Y is for Young, James. Who is having a better off season so far? Hangs out with Rihanna, signs with Jay Z, and is slotted to be in range to get picked by Phoenix. It would be a great system for James to play in, and will put him on the same team as Archie and Bledsoe… can’t ask for a more exciting NBA team.
Z is for Zero – as in the number of losses we aren’t allowed to predict Kentucky to have next year. Even though it’s totally in play, and we’re all just being super cautious after last years team got off to a slow start. 40-0 is in play… just maybe don’t get a tattoo of it.