Today is day two of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, wherein Kentucky discovers it's foe for tomorrow; the Alabama Crimson Tide or the LSU Tigers. That game happens at 7:00PM tonight.
Tweet of the Morning
If you are Bruce Pearl, do you take Auburn (if offered) or do you wait to see if something better comes along?— John Clay (@johnclayiv) March 13, 2014
Any established Division I coach should not answer the phone if an Alabama area code appears on it. Even a liar like Pearl.
Kentucky literally sent over 100 letters to my house in the last week #BBN pic.twitter.com/tNXcljRZg6— Jabari Greenwood (@JusCallMe_BARI) March 13, 2014
Jabari Greenwood is a 6'4" wide receiver out of Washington D.C. He has offers from Michigan St., Maryland, Pittsburgh, Iowa, and more.
Both Kentucky's starting defensive ends, Bud Dupree and Za'Darius Smith, make the list of Saturday Down South's ten best in the SEC. Pretty cool.
Team Speed Kills looks at Kentucky as an SEC Tournament contender. Consider:
The main question now is whether the team can regroup from its ugly last five games. The Wildcats are just 2-3 in those contests, and the wins aren't terribly inspiring. One was a one-point overtime win over LSU, and the other was a 55-48 win over Alabama a week ago. Also in there was last weekend's drubbing against Florida and the inexplicable loss to South Carolina. A team with this much talent has no business losing a game like that one.
Boy, you got that right. It also seems to have fired up the Gamecocks, who've now won 3 of their last 4, with the lone loss being a beat-down by Florida.
Jerry Tipton rains on our parade. Who could have seen that coming?
The Cats did say the tweak got a test run in practices, which suggested it might have something to do with a more aggressive and physical style of play. Calipari apologized to the players for taking the NCAA at its word that games would be called more tightly in hopes of reducing physical play.
Yeah. Like I said, who could have seen that coming? Evidently not Coach Calipari. If he was still believing it by the time the first few SEC games came around, he should have gone back and read our threads. Or just watched the film. Since SEC play started, the "new focus" has gone out the window and into the dustbin. A fair question is, why did it take Calipari 18 games to notice?
The failure of this Kentucky team is not that the freshmen have underperformed, but rather they have failed to meet ultra-high expectations. Even as Calipari has exploited the one-and-done approach, his achievements — a national championship in 2012, which followed a Final Four appearance the previous year — came with the help of some seasoned upperclassmen.
This is the easy, facile argument. It no doubt is a factor. If that was the only thing this team lacked, it would be comforting, in a way. But I think it had more to do with a lack of overall comfort within the team, a lack of point guard play, and a coach who uncharacteristically developed tunnel-vision.
Kyle Tucker takes a stab at what the "tweak" might be. My favorites:
Explained to the Harrison twins that it’s OK to pass to open teammates.
Well, one of them anyway. And:
Realized he forgot to explain the dribble-drive offense to this team.
This one, I truly believe. Finally:
Did he say tweak? He meant "twerk!" Miley Cyrus hired as motivational speaker.
This video of Willie Cauley-Stein contains some interesting comments:
One thing I really like about Willie is that he gives a very coherent interview, and is very frank in his comments without being careless or frivolous.
Anthony Hickey was honored by John Calipari's gesture after the LSU game at Kentucky.
Karl Towns Jr. has a very mature view of Kentucky's struggles:
"I just think it’s freshmen pains right now," Towns said. "It was fortunate enough for Coach Cal to have Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and some seniors to the point where freshmen pains weren’t so bad. Right now I just think it’s two young teams in a row and they’re just trying to gel, find each other’s tendencies and consistencies with one another. I think that right now Cal has them on a better track and I think that they’re going to have a great run in the NCAA Tournament."
Hope springs eternal, Karl. Can't wait to see you in Blue and White.
Other Kentucky sports
Kentucky Hoops will be partying on Monday in Memorial for the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament selection show.
- Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer will be calling SEC Network games. Musburger used to be great, but now he's just boring.
Tony Barbee out at Auburn. Quick trigger for basketball powerhouse Auburn, and the timing was really classless. Maybe Bruce Pearl will take the job. Naaah.
Tony Barbee is a good basketball coach. Not sure who could win at Auburn. No support what so ever for the basketball team.— GregNJ (@GregNJ) March 13, 2014
Auburn is the bung of SEC basketball, even worse than Kentucky in football. A lot worse. Auburn has more passion for the oaks at Toomer's Corner than every basketball game ever played there.
Tony Barbee isn't the only person in college basketball suffering a visit to Hell last night, and the game ended just like it began:
"@GeoffGrammer: And then there is this going on in the Mountain West Tournament... Boise 25, SJSU 0. pic.twitter.com/gonTx9BCCu" That real?— Michael DeCourcy (@tsnmike) March 13, 2014
Jahlil Okafor thinks Jabari Parker will be back for a sophomore season. Why? He'll be a lottery pick this season. Is he trying to become the next Jared Sullinger?
Lance McAllister writing for The Sporting News complains about conference tournaments. Mike DeCourcy has the counterpoint. I agree with DeCourcy.
Other sports news
The birthday boy shows his quality:
Anthony Davis: 29 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks; 3rd time reaching those marks in a game this season (rest of NBA has 3 combined)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 13, 2014
Hammer and Rails talks about the Indiana High School Basketball State Tournament. Trey Lyles, one of next seasons' incoming players, will try to lead his Indianapolis Tech team over Richmond this Saturday.
Georgia coach Mark Fox is "...sick of hearing about Cat-lanta." Well, coach, get over it. If you can motivate your fans to show up, you'd be the first coach in Georgia history to do so. Don't get all sour because Georgia sports fans care only slightly more about college basketball than Kentucky fans do about Jai-Alai.
South Carolina, Mississippi St. advance in the SEC Tournament.