clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Marquan McCall Edition

Kentucky lands four-star lineman from... wait, what? Michigan? Yes indeed!

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, to the Tuesday Morning Quickies. Today’s big story is the commitment of 4-star offensive lineman Marquan McCall, and I discuss him briefly in the football section. But there is something basketball related I want to highlight here.

Not that you should care what I think, but a brief comment on Kevin Knox’s surprise commitment to Kentucky. I, like the rest of you, didn’t really see this coming. It reminds me very much of Julius Randle’s commitment, sort of "Whoops — there it is!"

I deeply respect Jason’s opinion that Hami Diallo may decide to stay in the draft due to Knox’s matriculation and he may be proven correct that Diallo stays in the NBA Draft, but I disagree with his reasoning. If one thing should be clear to us by now, it is that these young players don’t seem to fear being outshone by other great players, or seeing their draft stock affected by their teammates. It’s also significant that Diallo already has a half-year in Calipari’s system, and even though he never saw the floor, that experience would make him a front-runner for a major role, more so than any of the incoming players other than perhaps Quade Green.

It seems to me that some (but not all) players understand that "a rising tide can lift all boats." Classic examples at Kentucky abound, such as the 2012 NCAA Championship team and the 2015 Final Four teams, where sharing the scoring duties raised the draft prospects of everyone. Even the 2010 team showed this effect to some degree.

Of course, there would seem to be a practical limit to how this works, and the 2015 team stands as a testament to what that limit might be. Calipari is also said to be disinterested, to say the least, in "platooning" his teams again. But Calipari has said such things before, and even though they often sound like absolutes, if we know nothing else about him we know that Coach Cal is adaptable.

Take all this with the caveat usefully provided by Wheatgerm the other day, which warns us not to judge the thinking of players (or others) by what makes sense to us. I think this admonition is wise.

Tweet of the Morning

Indeed, this is so. But I expect it to help programs like Kentucky, who are highly susceptible to poaching by more storied programs.

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
Kentucky basketball
  • Do you remember Randolph Morris and the infamous "fax heard ‘round the world?" I have an interesting anecdote concerning this matter,and I refer you to Jon Scott’s excellent website for a detailed discussion of the entire Morris matter.

    At the time this happened, I sent a message to Jeff Goodman (now a correspondent for ESPN) assailing his assertion that Orlando "Tubby" Smith, then coach of UK, never received the fax from Morris and suggesting Smith cheated and concocted the story out of whole cloth. He confirmed his belief to me in an email message, and that message was the genesis of my nickname for him, "the loathsome troll Jeff Goodman."

    Believe it or not, I had not seen or known that the fax had been confirmed to exist until reading the link above. My confidence in Smith’s integrity rendered it unnecessary at the time, and even though it’s nice to finally see it revealed, I never harbored a single doubt as to the veracity of Smith’s story.

  • A closer look at what Kentucky is getting in Kevin Knox.

Other Kentucky sports
College football
College basketball
Other sports news
Other news