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Former UK great believes Wall could’ve been talked into another year

Twitter is the best free website on the internet. You should check it out sometime. It’s great. Really good stuff on there. For instance, today I stumbled upon an interesting debate between two University of Kentucky all-time greats: Roger Harden and Kyle Tucker. Harden, the former UK point guard who doesn’t get nearly enough credit among the best to ever do it; Tucker, the best beat writer in the business. Like I said, two all-time greats.

So Harden and Tucker had a friendly back-and-forth today that somewhat sums up the older generation’s school of thought versus the new. Harden said he believes John Wall and De’Aaron Fox, two otherworldly talents, could’ve been swayed into staying another year to potentially win a title, a goal neither were able to reach as freshmen. It came up when talking about Ashton Hagans, I believe. Harden tweeted, “Those guys aren’t all about the money. (They) got pride and taking two years to win one worth $$ in long run..mishandled!!”

Tucker replied, “You think Wall and Fox could’ve been talked into another year instead of be by the No. 1 and No. 5 pick? Absolutely no chance.”

It then got a little heated but not too bad because we’re all friends on Twitter.

Harden and Tucker would eventually agree to disagree, fist bump each other and then go on living their lives. But it did show an interesting divide in how people think. Older folks, even those who played like Harden (and he’s not that old), like to think guys should come back. But the new school of thought (in this case, Tucker’s opinion) says the money is too good to stick around playing for free in college. I think most of us side with Tucker, but Harden clearly believes players aren’t in it only for the money, and his opinion is based on being a former player and knowing more about what’s in the players’ heads.

I side with Kyle on this one. There is too much at risk to be turning down money to chase a championship for free. But I’m interested to see how many still side with Harden on the issue.

Let’s all meet in the comments section and talk it out like adults.

Also, in related news, Roger Harden ranks third in career assists and third on most assists in a single season (behind only Tyler Ulis and John Wall) and I don’t think enough people know that. Please spread the word.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

63 Comments for Former UK great believes Wall could’ve been talked into another year

  1. KYjellyRoll
    6:19 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Some lottery picks could be swayed into a second year for a legitimate shot at a title. Do I think they should be pursuaded? No.

  2. Melvit
    6:23 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    I’m with Harden on this one. Tucker and Drew are not fans of the program like most fans are. They are mainly trying to keep their credentials, their in with Coach Cal and want to be friends with the players. I understand that and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Actual fans of the program root for the name on the front and want our team to be great. We are now seeing the down slide of the program as a whole because of the one and done curse set upon us. Now that every team is doing the one and done, it is harder on Cal to work his recruiting magic.

    Don’t get me wrong, if I was a player, I would definitely leave if I was a lottery pick, but as a fan, I dislike the one and done philosophy.

    • aklein46
      6:26 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      Tucker is not supposed to be a fan, how do you surmise Drew is not a fan of the program like most fans are? That’s a silly comment. You also contradict yourself by saying you would leave and take the money, but you want players to stick around so you can be friends with them. Times have changed, you either change with the times or you get left behind, it’s that simple. If we didn’t have Cal and the one and done we wouldn’t have a title from 2012 and not made 5 final fours.

    • J-Dub421
      8:32 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      No Melvit, you’re just old and out of touch. Times have changed, and no one who is a first round pick is going to stay for a second year. There is simply too much at stake, and it’s extremely hypocritical to say you’d leave as a player, but have different expectations as a fan.

    • Melvit
      12:08 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

      I agree that the times have changed and they have changed on Coach Cal. His ace in the hole used to be you can come here and be one and done. Now that other schools have adopted that, it’s much harder to get the best of the best. Cal needs to change his strategy, if only a little bit.

      I’ll ignore all of the ageaphobia. It’s not hypocritical to say that because I was saying that as fans we have different expectations and we root for the team as a whole. We will be here long after they have left for the pros.

      Drew is a football fan and not really a basketball fan. You didn’t see him pushing hard for Benny or Josh to not play in the bowl game. It’s really telling that he freely thinks the basketball players should leave early. I didn’t say there was anything wrong with his thinking, just that it is what it is and that’s what you should expect from KSR. Players first, fans last.

  3. aklein46
    6:23 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Harden is an old legend, but he’s way off base on this one. It’s very easy for him to sit back and say they could have been talked into coming back, but if he had a son that was the potential #1 pick in the draft, how easy of a decision would it be to tell your son to come back and risk injury?

  4. Tom Bombadil
    6:24 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Sometimes dreams come true for us UK fans….But only 8 times in 100+ years…thats with all different styles..types..4 year players…and ine and done players etc etc. If they stay or if they go… these debates are beside the point. Times have changed and thank goodness Kentucky can change with the times. And still win as we always have! Final fours and championships are very rare no matter what style or era. GO CATS!!

    • bigbluebanana
      7:45 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      Very well said.

    • Bobbum Man
      7:54 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      Agreed well put… some fans just don’t get this and expect to win one every season or it’s a failure…. 8 times in 100 years! Championships are very hard to come by even if ur the best team around

    • BigolBlue
      8:44 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      Nope. Just want to contend and win sometimed. Especially for a 8 million dollar coach and 30+ nba draft picks. Oh and the hype train involved every year

    • catsarerunnin
      7:28 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

      You could never be happy BigblueBuffoon. You’re not a fan. You’re just a complaining little weasel with no life.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      7:10 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

      BigOlBaby would fire Nick Saban right now if he was Alabama’s AD. He would have fired Red Auerbach in 1958.

  5. Dowser
    6:30 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    I’m old school, but Harden is wrong…. On another note, when Harden played assists were defined differently (they weren’t as easy to come by). So it’s pretty awesome that he is still in the position on the “all time list” that he is.

  6. icheeralluksports
    6:36 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Has any player in the NBA ever said. “I didn’t really like going to college, I’m glad I ran off to the NBA”. Or do they all say my college years were my best years? I’m thinking Harden is more right than given credit for from a player perspective. Just food for thought

    • dcforuk
      10:31 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      With age comes wisdom as well as hindsight and sentimentalism. But, the prevailing wisdom now from family, HC etc is to go when 1st round/lottery.

  7. Parker_UKFanNC
    6:36 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Come back risk injury and also potentially not win the championship.

    Or get millions of dollars that will help you and your family.

    I would’ve loved the chance to play for Kentucky basketball and win a championship. I also wouldn’t pass up that kind of money. As a fan of course I wish more would stay. However, leaving and getting paid is the most logical and beneficial choice.

  8. nicky
    6:42 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    I’m sorry but had there been no Kenny Walker, none of you would have even heard of Roger Harden

    • Cletis75
      9:52 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      James Blackmon’s jumper would say you need to be checked out for early onset.

    • ClutchCargo
      12:01 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

      nicky is right. Harden got a ton of assists, but there was a lot of stat hunting going on. Still, he was a great pg.

    • Cletis75
      4:07 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

      Stat hunting? He had a lot of offensive weapons,and he made the right decisions on who to get the ball to at the right time. He was definitely a pass first pg,but that’s because of all the good players around him. He was a really good shooter when needed.

  9. 4everUKblue
    6:43 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    I’m going to have to side with Kyle Tucker on this one, I think Roger likes to think he know’s more about it but I don’t buy it at all.

  10. BigolBlue
    6:55 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Cal would never let a lottery guy come back

    • bigbluebanana
      7:48 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      Why would they? You ain’t turning down millions of dollars either, especially if what gets you paid could be gone forever with one layup. Don’t act righteous here, or like Cal getting these guys to the nba is a bad thing, you’d take that money in a heartbeat dude.

    • BigolBlue
      8:45 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      Im just stating he wouldnt. I didnt say it was right or wrong dip

    • CatfaninCinci
      8:24 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      Cal shouldn’t let a lottery guy come back.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:02 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      Well I see Bigoldumbass is still a big old dumbass!

  11. playmorezeppelin
    6:58 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    We’re lucky to keep our walk-ons these days

  12. bbn606
    7:18 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t think I would use UK Great and Roger Harden in the same sentence.

  13. No more excuses cal
    7:53 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    I’m with harden

    • J-Dub421
      8:37 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      Of course, because you’re old and stupid. Only a fool turns down millions of dollars.

    • Matt10
      9:00 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      And only a bigger idiot calls someone he doesn’t know old and stupid over a simple opinion.

    • J-Dub421
      10:32 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      John Wall was the #1 overall pick, which is worth millions. He and all the rest of his family are set for life. Fox was the #5 overall pick, again worth millions. There is no guarantee that either would have won a title if they had come back for a second season because the tournament is a crap shoot. Again, only a fool turns down millions of dollars that will take care of them and their family for the rest of their lives. Either offer proof that I’m wrong, or piss off Matt.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:04 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      And on down the line Matt, only the biggest idiot calls someone an idiot who called someone an idiot. You get into a debate with JDub and you will be made to look like a fool.

    • CATandMONKEY
      2:49 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

      Matt; ” No more excuses” has established his stupidity in dozens of comments.
      Jdub is correct.

  14. postfeeder
    7:56 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Roger Harden is one of the most underrated point guards in UK history! Roger’s senior year was Eddie Sutton’s first at UK. That team went 32-4 and 17-1 in the SEC and lost in a regional final to an LSU team it had beat 3 times that year. That was one of my all time favorite UK teams Walker, Bennett,Davender, Blackmon and when Davender (God rest his soul) was running the point the team was not the same. Roger was the straw that stirred the drink

  15. CatfaninCinci
    8:20 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Wrong Roger… He comes back and tears an ACL, costs him millions. Only Dad Gum Roy would sacrifice his player’s ‘first overall’ selection for his own selfish gain (Harrison Barnes). And Roy didn’t even win a title.

  16. friendsofcoal
    8:34 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    I side with Tucker when talking about Wall and Fox…those guys HAD to go! At the same time, there are a few that I feel got shoved out the door a little early. I feel like Booker could’ve been swayed into coming back for year two and probably would’ve been a top 2 pick.

    I’m also starting to think that Coach Cal is on to something this year. I truly think he’s got a solid group of guys which none really jump out as a lottery pick YET. I think we’ve got an opportunity to have most if not all back again next year. I’m wondering if Cal is playing his cards right this year???

  17. schandler01
    8:46 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    It’s one thing to have one and done, it’s another to have too many. I’m fine with 1 or 2, not 4 or more. We need to recruit the players that can develop over time that can be core consistent players, then bring in the one or two players that you simply can’t pass up. I personally am not a fan of the NBA and could care less the number of players UK sends to the NBA. Don’t get me wrong, I wish the kids luck in their future whether that’s playing basketball or selling insurance. I am a UK fan and I care about how UK performs.

    • friendsofcoal
      8:54 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      I think the only two with a shot of going is Keldon and Ashton plus we’ll lose Travis.

    • dcarlinf1
      8:13 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

      Exactly my opinion, well said!

  18. Matt10
    8:53 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Absolutely Harden is right and will always be right. There are many things in life far more umportant than money and many will never understand. I could write endlessly explaining why but I really don’t care to. You either understand the truth of it or you don’t.

    • J-Dub421
      10:35 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

      Research Dejuan Wagner.

    • 4everUKblue
      8:02 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

      Lol! You just got owned by JDub and you’re too stupid to even know it!

  19. BLUEDOUG65
    9:02 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Roger Hardin certainly was helped having SKy to throw too however he was a high D 1 point guard no mater where he went to school and a terrific ball handler and floor general . One of my all time favorites

  20. BLUEDOUG65
    9:06 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Assist were harder to come by and the way these guys handle the ball today would have been a Turnover every time back then . The hand had to stay relatively on top of the ball or it was a turnover .

  21. dcforuk
    10:23 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Gone early will be Herro, Johnson, Washington. Not certain about Hagans or Quickley yet.

  22. Zissou87
    10:25 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    You have to look at the Dajuan Wagner issue.

  23. friendsofcoal
    10:47 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Herro and Quickley will be back unless they have some kind of turnaround.

  24. RealCatsFan
    11:48 pm January 14, 2019 Permalink

    The teenage fan in me agrees with Roger and wants these guys to come back to win championships. But the older, wiser, more mature adult in me realizes that if a kid has a chance to earn life changing money for his family, he can’t risk taking the chance of losing it with one bad injury. There are dozens of examples of this out there. Keep in mind that a lot of these kids come from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is correct that money isn’t everything and can’t buy happiness, but the stress of being in need sure can shorten your life span. I really think that Cal truly does have the best interests of these kids in mind and he looks out for them. He wants to see them find their dreams and become good people who will give back. I think Cal might not be the greatest X’s and O’s coach we have had at UK, but his heart is in the right place, and for that I am glad he is UK’s coach. Yeah, he makes a ton of money, but so do a lot of others. Maybe he sees his job as not just chasing championships, but melding young minds as well.

  25. blueblood4life
    1:03 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

    Harden was a true point guard loved watching him play! And with all do respect Calipari does these kids great let them choose there future ! They are always the chance of them getting hurt and calipari does not want that on his shoulders .

  26. ScratchtheMascot
    6:00 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

    He may have a point. Who knows. For some people it’s really not about the money. People act like it’s the biggest motivator to go and do something, but to a competitor that doesn’t care whether he makes 16 million dollars or 5 million dollars – both more money than they should be able to spend – a championship might mean more. That’s something that will never go away. Unless you’re Rick Pitino.

  27. babbus
    7:54 am January 15, 2019 Permalink


  28. Alleykat16
    7:55 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

    True fans of Kentucky basketball root for the name, the program is all that counts. I mean we care about the players but the most important thing is the team. This new way of thinking is hard to get used to. I mean the thing here is Coach Cal is employed by UK and at all times have their best interest at all times. But I see were he thinks of the players first and not the program. I think a different coach with the same recruits would have won a couple of titles instead of the one, because I believe a different coach would have had some players stay instead of pushing them out. But then again with a different coach probably don’t get the sat recruits

  29. jave2
    9:06 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

    At one point, the whispers were that Patrick Patterson was recruiting everyone to come back one more year. Everyone seemed to be extremely interested. The only reason it didn’t happen from what I have been told is that Bledsoe needed to move on due to his family’s financial situation and once he was gone, everyone else joined in.

    • RealCatsFan
      9:19 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

      Was Patterson a senior or a junior that year? Can’t remember, but a lot of people thought it was a stretch that he even came back for that one year, considering his injury history. And one of the main reasons he came back was to add an outside game to his repertoire to solidify his draft status. Whispers = rumours = great story that may or may not be true. And MKG was an example of a kid who said he was coming back in the heat of the moment and the euphoria of the game, but realized the risks he would be taking when he had time to think about it with his family. There is a LOT that goes into these decisions – trust me on that one.

  30. KYjellyRoll
    9:23 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

    Cal has great success writing guys ready for the league. No matter how oh look at it. In the grand scheme of things if he can get these young kids to buy into what he’s telling them, then they end up being one cohesive unit. I think it’s amazing what he does. I mean yeah you root for your team, but they’re made up of individuals in which need to be molded into the best version of themselves for the team to succeed. Go Cal go Cats

  31. ky yaya
    9:55 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

    Imho harden was doing the humble brag. I am better than you I played. He kept repeating that. Not cool

  32. Irish son
    11:35 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

    How in the heck is Roger Harden referred to as an a “ former U.K. great “? He was that good, let alone great

  33. fredlexky
    2:25 pm January 15, 2019 Permalink

    I would have to agree with Tucker on this one, only if the player is a lock at being a lottery pick. The risk of getting hurt and seeing the money disappear is to big. A lot of these kids, after their picked say they can’t wait to take care of their families, that’s a hard reason to try to talk them out of.

  34. chris43
    5:25 pm January 15, 2019 Permalink

    If they can be a lottery pick I don’t blame them a bit for leaving. The ones that irk me are the guys who leave knowing they’ll be second rounders straight to g league and most likely out of the league in 2-3 years OR not drafted at all. If that’s the case why not come back, continue your education, and attempt to improve your stock for the next draft?