What a "player's first" program looks like -- sending your best to the NBA after a championship season.
Look at mother nature on the run
In the twenty-first century
-- Neil Young, After the Gold Rush
The big news yesterday, and today as well, was the departure of the Kentucky starting five, all underclassmen, for the NBA. I think that you might have seen one or even two stay if the Wildcats had not captured the NCAA Tournament crown, but after you have a ring, going for a second one is generally not going to eclipse the lure of the NBA's millions.
Now, for today's links:
Despite constant criticism, Calipari's formula continues to be the most effective in college basketball, a statement backed up by unparalleled on-court success. That's the thing, without winning -- that's right, those same actual on-court results that detractors brought up so freely before the first Monday of this month -- none of this would be possible.
Nice piece by Mike Rutherford.
Detractors will find something else to justify their position, of course, but the "can't win it all" meme is dead, buried, and the bones burned.
Cal implies Patrick Patterson was an underclassmen, and I guess you could say that in terms of eligibility, but I think that was not quite right since a) he was a junior, and b) he graduated that year.
Calipari also said one of the fathers of the players told him that the kids wanted to do it together. Interesting.
Updated today. Lots of UK recruits in the top 10.
Katz thinks Lamb's run might make the first round, and says Teague clearly could benefit by coming back, but understands, in current climate, why Marquis left.
Plenty of admissions offices are able to discern the difference, valuing high schools based on their academic reputations. Calhoun said at UConn, "We look at one 3.0 entirely different than another 3.0."
I almost wet-fried my monitor with nose-coffee when I read this one. Seriously, Jim Calhoun?
Anyway, the article is recommended reading, but there is some unintentional hilarity in there.
But whatever answers you want to come up with, they don't really matter. Know why? Because if Ryan wanted to leave Wisconsin to take a job in the ACC, he could. If he wanted to take a job at Iowa State or Marquette or in the Big Ten, he could. There are no restrictions on where and when he can coach, provided he and a school reach an agreement on a contract. But for players, a coach merely needs to add 30 or so schools to a ban list, and that's that.
Here's a good candidate for NCAA legislation.
Final 2012 rankings from scout.
[Nerlens Noel's] length, timing, athleticism and ability to use either hand to swat away a shots make him a legitimate contender to break Anthony Davis’ shot blocking record at Kentucky next season.
Well, I guess Calipari has nowhere to go but up from 5th.
Whatever. It's going to take more than John Wall (and even John Wall and Anthony Davis).
But make no mistake my friends there are folks associated with the NCAA inner circles as well as the National Association of Basketball Coaches that are lying awake deep into the night every night trying to come up with some scenario and/or rule that will shorten or bring this run to a halt that Coach Cal is on at UK.
This strikes me as typical Big Blue paranoia. Which is why you should probably pay attention.
Let's be real here: the elite high school basketball players from the class of 2011 is incredibly underwhelming.
Remove the "incredibly," and I think I agree.
Reserves J.D. Weatherspoon and Jordan Sibert announced Monday they’ll transfer. Neither were crucial to the Buckeyes’ 31-8 Final Four season – they combined for 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds a game – but their departures leave Ohio State with just nine scholarship players next season without any incoming freshmen as of yet.
Interesting. This could be a year where Thad Matta underwhelms when it comes to recruiting, something he has done extremely well up until now.
The national surprise of the season kept chugging along this weekend, winning 2 of 3 against a solid Arkansas team. Who said they only play basketball in Lexington? Oh, right, that was the Big Blue Nation. In all seriousness, A Sea of Blue has actually had come baseball coverage lately, so head over for coverage of new blue overlords.
If there's anyone left who asks whether Kentucky's for real, they're either trolling or not paying attention. The Wildcats won a series at Arkansas for the first time in 10 years and became the first team to win two against the Razorbacks on the same day since Bill Clinton was running for re-election.
This is not an excuse to get political. That does seem like a long time, though.
In the Triangle, it's been a month characterized by players leaving the three ACC programs and potential newcomers picking other schools.
The days of wine and roses in ACC basketball are about to end, I think.
Well, isn't that special?
"Anybody that tells you in one or two years you cannot create a bond, they’re crazy," Calipari said, and that those words came just a few weeks after Pitino explained how he couldn't be a one-and-done coach because he can't "say hello and good-bye in seven months" was hard to miss.
It was classic Cal.
Indeed it was.
The most important piece of that recruiting class is Nerlens Noel, who might be Davis 2.0 on the defensive end. Davis, who shattered just about every existing shot-blocking record, said he believes Noel can break all those marks next season.
"I think he's better than me," Davis said.
At shot blocking? Maybe. At basketball? Not yet, and maybe never.
Stop complaining that John Calipari is a used car salesman and his players are mercenaries.
You can fret over the bastardization of academics or denounce the death of college ideals until you are as purple as Frank Martin during a 15-point loss.
It won’t change a thing. Until the NBA decides that, like skilled carpenters or master craftsmen, basketball players don’t necessarily need to go to college, we will live in the age of the flyby.
So she says to stop calling them mercenaries, but now it's okay to call them "flybys" and by extension, "drive-throughs."
You may think that Dana O'Neil is taking Calipari's side, but the equivocation is so thick you could cut it with a blowtorch.
Two years ago, Calipari drew the ire of his championship-hungry fans when he called draft night the "biggest night in the history of Kentucky basketball." He likely won't make that mistake a second time, but rest assured he'll capitalize on the forum to remind potential future players of the doors playing at Kentucky can open.
Troy Williams, a 6-foot-6 2013 wing, officially cut Georgetown from his list and is now down to Kentucky and North Carolina.
My mom wanted me to stay in school my dad was like let's stop, let's be serious for a second, did you not see what he did in college?" ... Davis loves school and plans on getting his degree.
It doesn't matter whether or not he gets his degree, although I hope he does.. It won't change the narrative.
The Tulsa World has learned that Clarkson was released to three schools - Colorado, Vanderbilt and TCU - out of eight submitted schools. Mike Clarkson said TU only released his son to two schools out of nine schools.
Somehow, coaches restricting where kids can transfer to has got to stop. Seth Davis has been on a Twitter crusade about this, and I think he's 100% right.
Those incoming freshmen – namely blue-chippers Alex Poythress, Archie Goodwin and Nerlens Noel – have already said they’re coming to Kentucky to help hang national championship banner number nine. They’ve uttered the word "repeat." That’s a tall feat. Calipari’s thoughts?
"I’m happy they’re thinking that way, but they also went publicly and said, ‘He never promised us we’d start. He never promised us shots or minutes. He told us we’d have an opportunity; we’d have to work.’ That’s what I want them to understand. This is work. This is hard. The hardest place they can go is here. This is not for everybody."
With social media allowing direct contact with prospective high school recruits, fans of colleges across the country continue to commit NCAA violations on a daily basis.
This is absolutely right. Sooner or later, it's going to be dealt with, and the schools will suffer.
NBA general managers were exasperated at having to take high-risk gambles on 17-year-olds. College basketball was upset that the likes of LeBron James and Dwight Howard were absent from the NCAA tournament. The compromise? Article X of the 2005 NBA collective bargaining agreement, which stipulates that a player must turn 19 in the year that the draft is held and that one NBA season must have elapsed since the player’s graduation from high school.
So the NCAA and NBA entered into a conspiracy? Not only untrue, demonstrably false. The NCAA can't do the first thing to influence the NBA's decision here, so why would the NBA consult them? Silly sportswriter.
Well, if you need a laugh...