Well, the Blue-White game is in the books, and it was a resounding victory for the Blue team, 126-104. What we saw tonight was pretty much what we should expect - a bit more intensity than Big Blue Madness, but still a woeful lack of defense. It made for an exciting offensive display, which is probably what we all kind of wanted anyway.
This team is simply filthy with talent. I am quite certain that the 1996 team was not this talented, but they were more polished and experienced. These two scrimmage teams as constituted tonight would likely both be good enough to make the Top 25 all by themselves. That is an amazing thing to say, but that's how I saw it.
Calipari did precious little coaching, which I thought was interesting. Either he had decided that it was just too intrusive, or simply thinks this group is ahead of the game at this point. I happen to believe the latter, but the former is just as plausible, or some other equally valid reason.
Here are my impressions from the scrimmage:
- Terrence Jones was simply awesome tonight offensively, and has far surpassed my expectations. But he has to share the Blue game ball with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Kidd-Gilchrist did so many little things, defended relentlessly, and constantly attacked the rim. I was just so impressed with his game, his energy, and his defense, that he had to share the honor.
- was really good for the White, and he gets my game ball for the losing side. He ran the floor like a deer, made a lot of baskets in transition, and got a bunch of blocks and shot changes. On the negative side, his slight frame showed up as a problem against Vargas and Jones. He is a 6'10" small forward, not a power forward.
- Marquis Teague played very well, and got a lot of points near the rim. It's clear he isn't completely comfortable in this system yet, and he made a number of defensive and ballhandling errors. Of course, so did everyone else. But I love his skill level and his strength.
- Kyle Wiltjer played really well, overall. He is a step slower than the other guys, but he really shoots the ball well from the perimeter and runs the floor with the best of them.
- Doron Lamb got off to a slow start, but he got it going in the second half. He scored most of his points inside the paint off cuts and transition, and did a good job of finishing around the rim. His perimeter shooting was off tonight, though.
- Darrius Miller's perimeter shooting wasn't off, but once again, he had a tendency to blend into the background both on offense and defense. But he was making really long threes, and made some nifty moves when he did assert himself offensively.
- Stacey Poole played well. He still needs more work, but he seems athletically and mentally ready for the Division I game this year.
- Eloy Vargas showed a few signs of improvement, but he also displayed many of the same things that kept him off the floor so much last year, like an inability to finish around the rim.
- Twany Beckham is really strong and powerful, but he has a terrible shooting stroke.
- Ryan Harrow had a few moments, but I was a little underwhelmed by his game.
- Nice dunk by Jarrod Polson at the end. Caught me by surprise.
That's about all I have. It was fun to watch, and I am convinced this team is going to be terrific. At this point in the young season, this scrimmage gave me everything I hoped I would see, and more.