You've heard the pickup game reports. Jared Carter will start. Ramel Bradley is a leader. Lukasz Obrzut can hit the three this year, Etc., etc.
But fans got their first real glimpse of the 2006-2007 Wildcats hoopsters today at Memorial Coliseum in the annual Blue-White game. The early verdict from those on the scene and watching around the Big Blue Nation?
Don't sleep on Derrick Jasper.
Offensive stats for this game are always misleading, since most players play the entire game or so. But it can be a good indicator of who is going to take the scoring lead and the like. Last year, Rajon Rondo put up a huge game and it proved a fairly accurate indicator of the first half of the season.
- Bobby Perry (Sr.) -- 28 points, exuded confidence at both ends. Didn't rush his shot and played the role of elder statesman. It's his team, from a leadership standpoint.
- Ramel Bradley (Jr.) -- 28 points, showed a nose for the good play rather than the showy one, a consistent question mark for this team.
- Woo (Sr.) -- 14 points and solid outside scoring. If the last few years are any indication, by December he'll be too frightened to take a shot.
- Derrick Jasper (Fr.) -- 13 points, many nice passes, especially on the break. Reportedly grabbed seven rebounds and dished five assists as well. Folks are raving about his all-around floor play and 'feel' for the game. Remember that, like any intra-team scrimmage, players already know some teammates likes, dislikes and tendencies. It will be different against a different team. However, given the need for quality freshman minutes this season, a great sign.
- Sheray Thomas (Sr.) -- 10 points, little buzz. At this stage, it seems hard to imagine that Thomas will give Uk anything more than great effort and the occasional clutch rebound or three. And maybe that's enough.
- Mark Coury (Fr.) -- 2 points, lots of elbows to the ribs.
- Joe Crawford (Jr.) -- 29 points on a variety of offensive moves. Attacked the rim consistently and looked leaner and smoother. The difference between a good UK season and a great UK season could be Crawford's offense. If he's capable of putting up 25-30 in a big game, watch out.
- Randolph Morris (Jr.) -- 24 points. His 10-12 foot jumper is difficult to stop. Went 12-of-16 today. Morris is a big boy, but still plays a fadeaway game. No reports yet on his rebounding/defense.
- Jodie Meeks (Fr.) -- 15 points. Some said he did not seem overly comfortable in the game, but he still managed 15 points. If Kentucky can get a Vinny Johnson-esque scoring sub from Meeks, it would be huge.
- Eric Allen (So.) -- 10 points. Remember this guy? Supposedly a second coming of Ravi Moss. Not announced as a walk-on, but obviously a part of the team ... hmmm.
- Michael Porter (Fr.) -- 5 points, solid D. If Porter is going to play much this year, it will be because of hard-nosed defense and the occasional three.
- Perry Stevenson (Fr.) -- 2 points. His defense is what got him here, and that's what Kentucky fans should focus on. Anything offensively is just icing on the cake at this stage.
- Jared Carter (So.) -- 0 points, 22 minutes. One of the troubles with a gawky late-bloomer is that "shyness" issue. Carter acknowledged he gets down on himself at times, and apparently that showed today. The Cats need Carter as soon as possible. Time to grow up, kid.