While sitting in the cathedral that is Rupp Arena on Wednesday night, I took some time to look up in the rafters. It'd been a while (about 3 years) since the last time I was there, so I had forgotten the sense of awe I get everytime I look at names like Issel, Dampier, and Mashburn to go along with notables like Ledford, Keightley, Rupp, Hall, and Pitino. At the same time, I also felt like there are some things missing.
Pitino was retiring jersies left and right in his time (justifiably so). He had Farmer, Pelphrey, Feldhaus, and Woods put in the rafters for their dedication to Kentucky. He had Mashburn put up there for his on court contribution. Tubby didn't put any players up there. I know he had players good enough to go up... but none have been raised. My question is why is this? Is it part of the innate showman with a profound sense of history that is Rick Pitino? Was it Tubby's naturally reserved demeanor?
On another level... what is the Kentucky standard for having a jersey retired? I know that I heard somewhere that North Carolina only retires your jersey if you win player of the year (wow). Other schools do it if you are an All-American. I would think that both Tayshaun Prince and Keith Bogans deserve to have their names in the rafters as former AA's and I am curious why the school has not done that yet.
Lastly, I noticed that Tubby's "jersey" is not retired alongside Rupp, Hall, and Pitino. Forty can back-up Tubby's claim numerically far better than I ever could, but I don't think anyone can deny that Coach Smith has a legit claim to those lofty heights as well. If I were in charge of that sort of thing, I'd go ahead and pencil in a ceremony for 2018. It would be 20 years since his title and by that time, any residual bad feelings for the last couple of years should have faded into obscurity and he can be shown the appreciation he deserves.
TL;DR version... We should retire some more jerseys at Rupp!