Day 1 post Wiggins, and the reviews are in -- it's hype Kansas mode for a while, and I can live with that. It won't last very long.
Sorry for the lack of activity today, but the network has been failing all day long, and I just now found a window. They are working hard on it at SB Nation. Hopefully it will get better soon.
Tweet of the Day:
ICYMI By picking Kansas, attention-averse Andrew Wiggins guarantees the spotlight aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketbal…— Michael DeCourcy (@tsnmike) May 15, 2013
We do a Q&A with Pride of Detroit about Larry Warford. Hank and I collaborated on this, but that's not clear from the story. Hank wrote the first part of the answers, and the second part, if it exists, was done by me.
Larry Vaught writes about UK recruit Damien Harris. He would be a huge, huge get if we could land him, but there are a lot of big-time schools on his list
Kentucky 2011-12 wasn't the best team in the country because it comprised only talented freshmen. The freshmen UK did have were special, but just as important were Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb and Darius Miller. None was a freshmen. Jones would have been a lottery pick had he left during the lockout uncertainty. Miller was a fourth-year senior who came off the bench.
This is the same tired argument we heard in 2012 even with Miller, Lamb and Jones, it's just tweaked a little to treat sophomores like upperclassmen. We had the same mix of experience in 2012-13 with Julius May, Kyle Wiltjer and Ryan Harrow.
The reality is that Kentucky lacked a dependable point guard and dependable perimeter shooting, but what it lacked most was sufficient depth to use the bench as a motivator. Calipari caught lighting in a bottle in 2011-12 when he brought in players who were mostly self-motivating. Last year, the team lacked that, and along with the other issues and Nerlens Noel's injury, it was just too much to overcome.
The rest of the article is reasonable, but the premise upon which he bases it, in my view, is fatally flawed.
Other UK sports
Want to be good at college football? Don't turn the ball over. So says Mr. SEC, and he brings the numbers to prove it (Via Hank).
Andy Katz and his thoughts about Wiggins, and what it means to the Big 12 and college basketball. Consider this:
Kentucky would have had a potential playing-time issue had Wiggins chosen the Wildcats -- for others, not Wiggins. No other coach could handle that better than Kentucky's John Calipari, but he doesn't need to massage any more egos with this team. He'll have his hands full keeping so many talented players pleased.
Don't you believe it. Calipari isn't worried about pleasing anybody. That was one of the lessons he learned last year.
More Kansas/Wiggins hype, if you can stand any more. It was a very big get for them, no doubt, and I totally understand all the hype. They deserve to celebrate this one, you just don't beat UK out of a player like Wiggins every day.
Andy Glockner writes for SI.com that Wiggins makes Kansas a "serious Final Four contender," and I think that's probably right. Kentucky, though, is a serious contender for the NCAA Tournament championship, and I don't think Wiggins gets Kansas to that bar. There are a number of Final Four contenders, but only 3 or four championship contenders.
Did Self really out-recruit John Calipari:
Hardly. What Wiggins decided on — and what Self accomplished in out-recruiting the best recruiter in college basketball — is good for Wiggins, great for Kansas and absolutely fantastic for college basketball.
Because, really: Who wants college basketball to have its equivalent of Alabama in college football?
or was the UK roster just too stacked for Wiggins' liking? I prefer to think the latter, but Kansas fans could be forgiven for preferring the former.
Besides, I still think UK is the equivalent of an Alabama next year. Wiggins would have been nice, but he wasn't a need for UK, and I think that mattered to him.
Bill Self apparently knows less about Wiggins than most Kentucky fans:
"He brings athleticism, length, scoring ability and he's also an assassin, an alpha dog and we definitely need that when you have a whole bunch of young kids," Self said.
Seriously, Bill, an "alpha dog?" Wiggins is anything but, at least right now. Have you actually watched him play? Julius Randle is an alpha dog, as are both the Harrison twins. Wiggins is about as far from that as he can be, at the moment.
Andrew Wiggins should have gone straight to the D-league, says Dan Shanoff of USA Today. I think that's wrong. The D-league is a man's league, and Wiggins desperately needs to mature playing against boys, not seasoned veterans.
This is an excellent piece by Dana O'Neil, which you should read. Here is a taste:
Six minutes after Wiggins' announcement, there was a "go to hell," a #worstmistake hashtag and a lovely "I hope you tear an acl you idiot" post.
Because, naturally, it makes perfect sense to despise a kid who had the gall to choose where he wanted to go to college.
How dare he.
Indeed. But it's not just a scolding of the Twitter idiots, but a clear-eyed examination of the recruiting process. Very much worth your time.
The SB Nation Florida blog Alligator Army is just glad Wiggins didn't go to rival Florida St.
Shane Ryan at Grantland goes all hyperbolic on the NCAA rule changes, or rather, the fact they didn't change the shot clock.
As I've always said, the NCAA is an inherently conservative organization and change is slow. But it does come, and the shot clock will be shortened, but it will take some time.
As an additional observation, I have been saying for too many years to count that college basketball, and NBA basketball for that matter, allows too much contact. It doesn't have to be that way, and Rick Pitino, of all people, explains it in a quote in Shane's article.