Kentucky Wildcats: The [Football], The [Basketball], and Stoops

Will John Wall be coming back for a go at the champs? - USA TODAY Sports

Some random commentary about Kentucky sports for July 2nd, 2013.

Apologies for the lack of normal blogging today. Unfortunately, I am dealing with a serious medical issue in the family that requires a lot of my attention at the moment, not to mention my non-blog day job. That means blogging will be mostly opportunistic. As such, the Morning Quickies are on indefinite hiatus for the time being. I regret the unavoidable inconvenience.

Thanks to Theodore Sturgeon's 1955 short story "The [Widget], The [Wadget], And Boff" for the title idea. I'm sure all Kentucky Wildcats fans possess Synapse Beta Sub Sixteen.

Moving on to other matters, comes now news that Mark Stoops is applying the same theory to Matt Elam as he did to Drew Barker, sending him some 182 letters in a single day.

While some may question the utility of such excess, it certainly does one thing that almost nothing else can -- says "I really, really care." I don't know of a single high school player who would fail to be impressed by such a display of interest, and even if it may not sell the program in substantive ways, it does seem to go a long way toward removing any doubt about the sincerity of the offer. We have seen many coaches do cynical things in football recruiting, but the "drown them in postage" approach seems to have the desired effect of reinforcing the serious nature of the suitor.

In other interesting news, there is a report on KSR (hat tip: NBC Sports) that the John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience may feature a game between the 2012 NCAA Tournament champion Wildcats, and the 2010 Elite Eight team featuring John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson et. al.

Because I could, I went to WhatIfSports.com and set up the game in simulation, using an NBA 7-game series:

Game 2010 2012 Leading scorers
1 71 53 Doron Lamb and John Wall
2 62 71 Anthony Davis and John Wall
3 66 68 Doron Lamb and John Wall
4 61 70 Doron Lamb, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe (tie)
5 70 74 Terrence Jones, Patrick Patterson
6 66 72 Terrence Jones, Patrick Patterson, John Wall (tie)
7 94 90 Anthony Davis and Patrick Patterson
Wins 2 5

As you can see, the 2012 team dominates, and mostly because of their 3-point shooting. Note that Doron Lamb is the leading scorer on 2012 in 3 of the 7 games. In general, the scoring on 2012 was very balanced.

I don't know how well this reflects "reality," and I would expect the 2010 guys to have an advantage in a matchup today due to their longer time in the NBA, and the fact of the improved shooting from the guards that we really could have used against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 2010 East Regional Final. Ah, what might have been ...

Now, it's back to football. We have been saying for days now that the SEC influence was a major factor in Mark Stoops & Co.'s success in recruiting Ohio. More validation of that perception comes today via the Youngstown Vindicator, home town of the Brothers Stoops:

Stoops’ biggest selling point has been his conference, which has won the last seven national titles. The next-closest SEC school is Tennessee, which is four hours south of Cincinnati.

“That’s very appealing to a lot of players from Ohio,” Stoops said.

There are two elements to this: 1) Proximity to the home of the Ohio players, and 2) the lure of playing in the SEC, unquestionably the most glamorous major conference in college football. Who would have imagined that Kentucky's proximity to anything would have wound up a selling point? Not I. To the contrary, I always thought of it as problematic. Sometimes, it's really nice to be wrong, but the SEC is the real driving force that makes Kentucky attractive. The proximity to Ohio is the icing on the cake.

I hope to have more for you very soon.

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