Since I haven't had time to cobble together my usual pithy piece trying to generate a basis for the Theory of Everything out of basketball statistics, I figure the next best thing is to point you to a few interesting news items.
First on our list is this article (hat tip: KSR) identifies yet another case of schools ignoring the NABC's "strong discouragement" of youthful recruiting. In this case, it is a 15-year old in Huntersville, North Carolina. See if you can predict the rationalizations of these coaches for ignoring the NABC's wishes. You have 5 seconds starting now ..... OK, here it is for those of you still suffering from the Monday lack of mental sharpness:
Some coaches, particularly those at schools that aren't traditional powers, say identifying prospects and developing relationships early helps them compete for talent against high-profile programs, such as Duke and North Carolina.
Well. There you go, they just have to do something to prevent all that talent from going to UNC and Duke. You see, NABC, those big, mean schools get all the good players and we just have to get in early to, you know, level the playing field. OK, TLT Jeff Goodman, let's hear you blast these guys. C'mon Vitale, praise them now. What? No? Hmm.
In this piece entitled "Court Awareness: Weekend review" we find this:
Notre Dame and Villanova represented against Texas; the Irish's folly against North Carolina is something to forget. Games to truly judge the conference come when UConn faces Gonzaga and Louisville gets undefeated Minnesota and a surging Kentucky team before conference play begins.
"Surging?" They must have stopped watching Saturday after the first half.
John Clay blogs about the subject du jour for many Wildcat fans, DeAndre Liggins, noting that freshmen can be a trial. Liggins apparently missed his ride to the arena on Saturday, which made him 30 minutes late. Gillispie had him shooting well after the rest of the team had hit the showers.
I'm sure there will be additional remedial instruction for young DeAndre.
Also from Kentucky Sports Radio today is this piece by Matt Jones highly complimentary of Greg Anthony's performance as color commentator during the UK-IU game.
I think Anthony did a really good job. He was interesting, provocative and did it all without being annoying or ebullient -- in itself, a remarkable feat in today's sports announcing world full of the loud and hyperbolic.
Finally, just a few words about the beating Liggins has taken across the UK blogosphere since his strange and inadequate game on Saturday. Despite the apparent difficulties Liggins is having making the transition to the college level, I think it has more to do with wanting to do more than he needs to do. We often see college players try too hard -- we have seen it with Miller and Galloway this year as well.
In fact, the only newcomer who seems to have been ready from day one is Josh Harrellson, and I can't overstate the positive impact he has had on this team, and it only stands to get better. Gillispie has given him the green light to shoot from beyond the arc whenever he is open, and even though he missed several Saturday, his confidence in that shot is only going to grow.
As to Liggins, I am confident that Coach Gillispie will get him on the right page soon. But as UK fans, we must keep our disaproval to the facts we know, not what we suspect may be true. We should not be condemning people for behavior that we know almost nothing about. Let's save our objections for what we see, and what we can prove, not what we fear.