As the deadline for the NBA draft "in or out" grows near, UK's roster is getting very near completion. It has been an excruciating process this year, and frustrating for fans and no doubt players as well.
I said before I would comment on the Galloway situation, and I will now do so. I am on record has having opposed the forced departure of any of the players, but particularly the senior players. Many people, after it was revealed that Kevin Galloway would not be returning, pointed to a qualification allegedly in the record that Calipari agreed not to non-renew the scholarships of four-year seniors, not all seniors. If so, I consider those weasel-words -- there is no real difference between the two. It is almost impossible for a junior to transfer into a good situation for him. It does happen (Marvin Stone may have actually helped himself transferring from UK to Louisville), but it is extremely rare. That is the root of my objection.
Today, the Herald-Leader has an article about his departure that sheds about as much light on this situation as we can ever expect to actually see in the mainstream media. Kevin Galloway says that Calipari did not kick him off the team, but rather explained to him that staying on the UK bench with little playing time would not enhance his NBA dream. While I hate to see this happen, this could optimistically be classified as a "voluntary" departure, if Galloway is to be believed.
As far as Matthew Pilgrim is concerned, I am not nearly as troubled -- he has two years to go and UK not honoring its commitment to him should free him to have his year in residence here restored at his next destination, and an appeal for immediate playing time seems more likely than not to be granted, plus being that much closer to a college degree. It seems that he should easily be able to obtain significant playing time on the D-I level, perhaps enough to get some NBA interest, and should easily be able to obtain a college degree with at least two and possibly three additional years in school (though only two as an eligible player), depending on the NCAA. The worst thing is, he apparently had the rug pulled out from underneath him -- no pretension of a "voluntary" departure, this was just basically a "Sorry, we no longer have a need for your services."
Galloway's case is different -- he has at most one year of eligibility left. Not only that, the difficulty of actually obtaining a college degree after shuffling around to what could be four different schools seems unreasonably difficult, and even though we may in reality be playing a game of make believe when it comes to "student athletes," Galloway's departure has the additional effect of making it less likely he will ever obtain a degree against which he has already done significant work. I hate that, and it rubs me very much the wrong way. Sure, it is still possible it will happen -- but I fear it will be much harder now than it was, and therefore less likely.
I will pass no judgment on Galloway's professional ambitions, but I will point out that he has major holes in his game (no left hand, no jump shot, average basketball IQ) that will make his road to making a living off the dribble. That's not Calipari's problem, and in reality, I agree with the assessment that Galloway's chances of playing professionally will not be best served by sitting on the bench next year. The question is, is the hit to his graduation chances worth the trade-off? Apparently, Galloway thinks so, and in the end, his is the only vote that matters. We are left to guess what would have happened if Galloway had refused to transfer, but the jaded among us won't have any trouble reaching that conclusion.
In the final analysis, I am once again placed in the position of becoming a scold (and believe me, that is tempting) or accepting the reality of the situation and moving on. Once again, I will choose a compromise, accepting this as part of the whole unpleasant transition mess while remembering it against the possibility of future transgressions. In other words, Calipari gets less latitude from me than before, and if this becomes a pattern with him, he can expect to read all about it right here. But for now, as before, I am going to hold my nose and take the Alfred E. Neuman stance.
What, me worry? Nah. Now for the news.
UK Basketball News
John Calipari: Long way from Moon to the University of Kentucky
Why can't the local media do an article on Calipari this good? Are we that journalism-challenged in this state? If you have not read this, go read it right now.
True Blue Kentucky blogs about "the forgotten one."
I don't forget Jon Hood. The others may have a bigger name and more stars, but Jon is a dynamite player that will have a terrific career at UK.
Holy bang-bang, Batman!
Is being shot in the head and thumbing a ride in an ambulance tougher than breaking ribs and finishing a bike race at 67 years old? I don't know, but it has to be close.
How it all went down
Bluegrass State Basketball suggests that Pilgrim was the only player that got the rug pulled out from underneath him.
More signs point to Jodie Meeks return.
I am thinking it is pretty likely we will see Jodie in Blue and White again this year.
Meeks decision will impact entire country
Indeed it does. Meeks is the last piece in an amazing puzzle, on that could form a Yellow Brick Road straight to Indianapolis.
UK Football News
Team Speed Kills interviews me on the football Wildcats
You can Cocknfire's questions, and my answers, on the 2009 football Wildcats.
Newton and Mossakowski begin 7-on-7 drills.
Donte Rumph is still waiting on his eligibility, and given the loss of Jeremy Jarmon, we really need him to get qualified. The really bad news is the loss of E.J. Adams. That one is going to sting.
More on E.J. Adams' departure
What "personal reasons" would cause a player to depart and enter the supplemental draft? I guess we are left to puzzle that out.
Other UK Sports News
UK's Sorrillo second in NCAA 200 meters
Congrats to Rondel Sorillo. Maybe next year he can win the thing.
NCAA Sports News
Jim "I don't have time to bleed" Calhoun bikes with five broken ribs.
Okay, I am either impressed at his toughness or shocked at his stupidity. An injury like that at his age could have easily been much more serious. I'm glad he's out of the hospital.
Cardinals predicted to be mid-pack in the Big East next year.
We'll be facing a couple of Big East teams early, UConn and Louisville.
Coaches UA didn't get have sticky situations.
A run down of some of the NCAA and personal difficulties of theoretical Arizona coaching candidates.
Other News of Interest
The new Lexington ABA team features some UK favorites.
Bobby Perry, Ravi Moss, Preston LeMaster and Ramel Bradley? Kyle Macy as coach? Very interesting.
Indiana 78, Kentucky 65 (Final)
Jon Hood had a very good game, indeed. But in a losing cause.
High school should set sights high for their next coach.
This is pretty funny. You should read it.
5 Things We Learned In The NBA This Week
"Look, we all know that NCAA players get paid under the table and have for years. It's not like this whole thing with Tim Floyd stepping down at USC and allegations that he paid O.J. Mayo was letting some big cat out of the bag, and it's not like Floyd or USC were the only ones who have ever engaged in this kind of behavior."
Heh. Talk about jaded.
The Daily Schadenfreude
Jurick not returning to Vols
Tennessee lost a scholarship, apparently over a low APR in men's basketball. Not only that, with Tyler Smith returning, they will also be over the limit. Heh.