Once again, Red94, the ESPN TrueHoop affiliate for the Houston Rockets, interviewed me about a Kentucky player. Last time it was DeMarcus Cousins, which is here if you haven't already read it.. This time it was Patrick Patterson. Be sure and give it a read, as well as the rest of the Red94 articles -- they are a great resource for Rockets fans, and I think most of us will be Rockets fans to some degree next year.
Now, for the rest of the news.
Kentucky set a record with five players chosen in the first round. Even with that kind of talent of the roster, Calipari could not coach the Wildcats to the NCAA title or even get to the Final Four.
This is the new meme for Calipari haters -- "He couldn't even win the NCAA with all that talent." When it comes to logical fallacies, sportswriters take the cake.
But when you are determined not to like someone, you must manufacture what you can out of what is available.
The NBA is feeding off the popularity of the college game. And when you get right down to it, what does UK have to show for all of it? A lot of photo ops. LeBron James and Magic Johnson at the games. Drake coming to Big Blue Madness.
As usual, Eric Crawford makes some excellent points. The point he fails to make is that, just as the NBA is feeding off the popularity of the college game (And why not? The NBA is a commercial enterprise), Calipari has figured out a way to feed off the NBA.
This may make some Kentucky fans uncomfortable, but we have already experienced the alternative. Kentucky is likely to win more games, and have more shots at championships under Calipari than any coach since Adolph Rupp. How they go about it could not be more different, and there were plenty of fans in Rupp's days who were uncomfortable with how he did it, trust me.
Calipari has placed himself on the bleeding edge of college basketball, and Kentucky right there with him. Hold on, it is going to be a wild ride.
"I'm not saying it's not great," Issel said. "It's terrific. If these prospective players see coming to Kentucky as a step to the NBA, then that's great.
"But the goal is to win a national championship, and the Kentucky program is such that that should be the goal every year."
I like Dan Issel, but this quote is a tiny bit logically challenged. There is only one truly desirable outcome for Kentucky -- national championships. He gets that exactly right.
Does he really think that is not Calipari's goal every year? Does he really imagine that his goal is merely to get players drafted? Perhaps he does, who knows?
Calipari does not want his personal desires to be at the forefront, like so many other coaches do. Mike Krzyzewski is a very good example of this. You rarely, if ever, hear him talk about national championships -- mostly, he talks about his players. The same was true of John Wooden.
Calipari is a basketball coach, not an agent for future pros. He understands that putting players in the pros will serve his unstated desire -- to win as many national championships as possible. It should be unnecessary for him to have to say it.
Not to be naive, but isn't the goal also to make sure your players earn a college degree? Patterson at least did that, but does Calipari even know how many classes Wall or any of his other fabulous freshmen attended during the spring semester as their NCAA one-and-done clock ran down?
No, it isn't. Sorry, but it just isn't, and hasn't been for many years. This isn't just naive, it is bordering on ethical cluelessness.
The goal should be, and always should have been, to make sure your players do the right thing for their situation, whether that be a college degree in four years or in twenty-four, or millions of dollars in the NBA.
- Rivals.com College Basketball - Who are the top three picks next year?
He’s on target to graduate in August, which means he doesn’t have to sit out a season at another school.
Interesting, that. Congratulations to the Cardinals.
Brooks and his wife, Karen, are back in their home that overlooks the McKenzie River for at least most of the summer. They’ve also kept a home in Lexington, Ky., and he said they’ll probably continue to rotate stays at both, "for the time being."
The plan is to see some football games at Autzen Stadium and at Kentucky this fall. They still have numerous friends in both places, he has some business dealings back there and while Brooks said it’s his wife who "has gotten hooked" on all that goes with the horse racing season in Kentucky, it’s the former coach himself who has an investment in a thoroughbred — "about this much," he said holding his thumb and index finger an inch apart.
I'm glad to see Rich Brooks enjoying his retirement and staying connected with the Bluegrass. He has done a lot for our football program, and deserves to enjoy his retirement as much as he can.
"They'll start playing pick-up, which I hate," Calipari said. "It's a waste of time. It's not how we play. I tell them, 'I want you to only play pick-up three days a week.'"
Calipari said he wants the rest of their time spent working on their individual weaknesses, conditioning and weight training.
I think this is right. I never have been a fan of pick-up games by elite athletes. Too much potential for injury, and too little value. Working on individual and team skills among themselves would benefit them more. Calipari, as usual, has it just right.
A little hyperbole never hurts in recruiting.
Does Kevin Scarbinsky read A Sea of Blue? If not, he and I are on some kind of brain-wave. He gets this exactly right.
This may be Biddle's hope, but I have a feeling it will not be reality.
"We played dribble drive probably 35-40percent of the time (last season)," he said. "But I think what we'll see now, we may even do more pick-and-rolls now."
I like the fact that Calipari is beginning to understand that he can't coach the same way at UK that he did at Memphis. This evolution of his basketball philosophy should be interesting to watch.
"I am not sure I would say anybody is leading right now. I am wide open, but I do like a lot of things about Kentucky," Wroten said.
Tony Wroten has been saying good things about UK for a long while now.