Sunday, April 18, 2010

One and Done

by shagonsports

I have to say how quickly some people have turned on Coach Cal since it now appears that UK will lose five underclassmen including four of the freshmen to the NBA (they are back in though we the recruiting class he is assimilating)… I have even heard some comments from people as to why can’t UK be more like Butler this year or like Duke… The Duke comparison I can somewhat understand but we were like Butler under Tubby and people did not like how that was turning out…

First of all if you had some fantasy that UK was going to win the NCAA tournament this year than you set the bar to high and set yourself up for disappointment… There was no way a team with that much youth was going to win it all… It has never been done before by a team that was this young… For me I was hoping UK could once again be competitive and be back in the national picture I would have to say that in Cal’s first season my expectations were greatly exceeded…

You have to remember where we came from since 2004… Tubby had failed to have us in the mix for the top recruits in the country during his last five years at UK… Was still able to field one great team (2004) and a couple of very good teams… Number on complaint was talent he was recruiting followed by no final fours since 1998 although I have to say the 2003 team was an ankle sprain away from not only making the final four but also probably winning the whole thing…

Enter the train wreck BCG… Although Clyde was able to recruit some talent his off the court behavior was just unacceptable and he failed to understand what being the CEO of UK Basketball meant…

What Cal did was go out and sign four of the best freshmen in the country to come to UK and they came in a made an immediate impact… Wall was fantastic, Bledsoe showed signs of greatness and an ability to play some great defense, Cousins developed footwork and skills similar to NBA great Kevin Mchale and Orton showed he could defend anyone, anywhere and that came from going against the best center in college basketball day in and day out…

What else do these guys have to prove??? Nothing in my opinion… I think if they all go to the NBA and work hard they all the potential to be really solid NBA players… If Wall learns how to play defense and develops a better outside shot than he will be one of the greats in the game…

What are the guys doing in college anyway??? As much I loved having them the one and done rule is for shit… I believe in free markets and I believe that anyone at any level should have the ability to earn a living as they see fit… If a kid thinks he is ready to go to the NBA right out of high school than he should be able to go to the NBA right out of high school… The one and done rule is hurting college basketball not just the University of Kentucky… Look at Ohio State, UNC, USC and a host of others who have been impacted by this rule…

So if you are a college coach what do you do??? Would you rather have four years of Edgar Sosa or one year of John Wall??? One year of DeMarcus Cousins or four years of Kyle Singler??? Three years of Patrick Patterson or four years of Gordon Hayward??? What I think is you have to recruit and sign the best talent that is out there which means you are going to get some one and done guys…

What you however have to do as a coach is mix that talent with some guys who are going to be at the school for four years… Duke got stung in the late 90’s through the first part of this decade with early defections and I guess Coach K changed his recruiting style and that is why he got back to the Championship level… Let’s face it folks no matter what if you are going to win at this level you have to have a mix of talent and upper classmen and for sure both Duke and Butler filled that role this year…

As for the rule… It is complete bullshit in my opinion… If the NBA wants to institute a good rule follow baseball where a kid can be drafted right out of high school but if he chooses to not sign with the pro team an go to college than that kid is not eligible to be drafted again until after his junior year of college… Drop out of school before that and you are still not eligible until after that year… This to me would accomplish what the NBA is trying to accomplish for it’s league and would have a positive impact on the kids and the schools…

I still say this was a great year for UK and I have allot of confidence that Cal can keep this team competitive on a national level each and every year… Can he win a national championship or two at UK??? I would think so but that is a tougher task than one thinks… Look at The Coach That Came After Eddie as an example… Most people thought that once he returned to college basketball he would dominate once again… Has not happened… How many coaches have had great teams year in and year out but have not won a championship or even made it to the final game??? Look at the list of those who won just one…

Folks it is one year… Only once in college basketball has a team had this much freshmen talent and that team did not win it all either… There were also a few other teams that started three freshmen in the National Championship game if you go back and check the records and they did not win it all… I doubt very seriously you see another class like this one this year at UK where four of the five freshmen turn pro after one year… If you do than I would say that team will have had similar success like the one we saw this year…


More Comments from the Masses

Adolph Rupp once told his players “do not speak unless you can improve the silence…” I will use the same analogy for the comments below… These were listed after the AP’s story about the boy’s moving on to the NBA… It is pretty sad first of all that people choose to attack these players, coach Cal and the university in this way… In the end you can say what you want but they are all good kids who loved to compete…

As for the people below… There IQ is probably somewhere around my golf handicap of nine… I still cannot imagine what motivates people to post such nonsense on a message board… For what it is worth also, there was also a story about Evan Turner, Lance Stephenson, Derrick Favors and Xavier Henry turning pro and that story had about 75 comments… The UK story had over 500 the last time I checked and about 90% were just people hating on UK… These comments are not edited…


the players are leaving because they know coach cal can't lead them to the land of milk and honey....turns out he is not the next messiah.

My comment: After one year at UK he is declared not to be the next Messiah… I think he did well enough he will get another year…


UK fans uuderstand this. What has happen is. You guys are about to get a taste of what Memphis got. Then some of you fans talk about how good your team was, and now you fans want these players to go to the nba and fell. Everybody in Memphis knew that UK wasn't going to win it, and if you fans thougt that, then you guys should go to class. What goes around comes around.


My comment:
Not sure about this one… Guy has issues with sentence structure and spelling for sure…


WAS being empathetic to UK situation. I personally think it sux for UK fans....'cause you'll never win a champioship with the loser as coach. But after reading some of these repsonses....hahaha!...you guys deserved this loser!!!! ONE AND DONE...get used to it. Fla, Vandy, Miss St, LSU(among others)are going to FN OWN you guys next year. Have fun with your all-freshmen team! LOL

My comment: Again I think he did well enough to deserve another year… He did really well with a bunch of freshmen this year… UK will be fine…



thats what uk gets for hiring the crook. he should be on probation not the universitys
he was at, take the money and run, thats why duke and carolina have good programs
they go to class for 3 to4 years. thats what you get uk

My comment: The NCAA bans coaches who are found guilty of violations… Cal has not been found guilty by the NCAA and been cleared at Memphis and UMASS of any wrong doing…


Ha! Ha! I told the Kentucky fans about their one and dones all year! Guess they all are afraid they might have to face might "DUKE" next year. Greedy kids and I guess you Kentucky fans better jump on the Blue team of mighty "DUKE" for a winning and graduation college of kids. Ha! Ha! Ha!

My comment: Greedy kids… Anyone who would not jump ship for this type of money is foolish… Sure they should stay in school and finish their degrees but in a free market society they should be allowed to make their own choices and they have and I wish them the best…


Dumb kids and probably received even dumber advice. forrest gump would be proud.

My comment: Although I do not know any of them personally (I guess maybe this guy does) I do not think they are dumb… Kids yes, but the dumb comment is a bit harsh…


I hope they ALL end up out of the league in 3 years BROKE and a JOKE!

My comment: I do not… I do not wish anything bad on any of these kids… I hope they are all very successful at the NBA level… This guys IQ is probably equal to my golf handicap of nine…


Crap coming back to haunt UK. That's what happens when you sell out for a few wins. Recruit good student/athletes, maybe even White boys too, and you can keep a team together for a few years. I love it. The other N lover in louisville started this crap at UK.

My comment: There has never been a team lose four freshmen and one other underclassmen to the NBA… This is the first and only time I see this happening… Sounds like the guy above is a bit of a racist also…


Wow!! Surprise...Surprise they are all going pro and I hope they get beat again next year in the tournament. The biggest cheater in NCAA basketball Calipari probably told them to go since he always has his players best interest right? lol I can't stand him and any school who decides to hire him, he is one of the people who ruins college basketball.

My comment: If Cal was the guy who decided to put the rule in place than yes he is ruining college basketball… You have to recruit the best players…


Although this was very predictable. I will say that they may as well go now because they can't graduate anyway with any real education. They only know basketball and that is it. They have no classroom smarts. All they know how to do is play basketball. If they had to graduate to go Pro they would never make it. They probably don't even know basic elementary skills. It is pitiful as hell what has become the normal thing for these kids to do.

My comment: Again I do not know these kids personally but this person seems to know them well enough to accuse them of lacking intelligence… They were all good students… Wall the highest GPA on the team (3.4) and Patterson graduated in the three and a half years…


It doesn't take a genius to know that he does this by cheating. Look at his background. Cal cheats. It's easy when you cheat.

My comment: If he cheats than why has the NCAA not banned him from coaching…


Cal is not a good coach he has never been past the elite 8 and every UK fan act like he is God. Plus UK will probably have a ad down low next season with Orton COusins and Patrick leaving they only return one guy over 6-8 and only 2 players on their list are taller than that so they will not be near as good next year as they were this year

My comment: For the record Cal has been to the final four twice… As for next year we will see…


I don't get it. I really don't understand how you can praise a guy who constantly brings in players he has a good idea will only stay a year or two. Four "one and done" players... are you kidding me? That's just like slapping post-secondary education in the face. Of course you want to win and you want to bring in players to win, but shouldn't coaches have some sort of ethic codes? Shouldn't coach want to win AND build a strong foundation of kids with solid characters rather than playing shoot and reload every year? College is about growing up and building a strong character, it's not a try-out for the NBA.

My comment: The NBA forced the one and done rule on the NCAA… The NCAA does not like the rule… Cal is on record that he hates the rule… This is why you see so many kids this year testing the NBA waters after their freshmen year… If you look around the country Cal was lucky to have four of these players where many other schools just had one… The reason UK had four is because the hole they were in from the last two years of Tubby (he stopped recruiting) and two years of Clyde so they had allot of open holes…



Jim Nantz talks Kentucky

KSR called Jim Nantz the Forrest Gump of Sports… He is truly everywhere… Nantz recently set down with Bill Simmons for a pod cast and the result was some very shoddy journalism with guys just spewing information without checking out the facts… I am not a Nantz fan and it is horrible that Gus Johnson is not the lead play-by-play man for CBS on college basketball… Nantz is always looking for his opportunity to feed in the back-story on a player or person in an event vs. focusing on the event and I do not like that style…

Jim Nantz comments about UK and the players going to class:

“It raises some great questions, like, is it really worth it if you are Kentucky? Is that really something you are proud of? To say those kids came in here and they played for Kentucky for one year. I mean, anything short of a championship, to me, is almost a failure because they weren’t a part of your team, they don’t become a part of the heritage of your team. They are just mercenaries who come in for a year and play.”

A quote from KSR that is very true: “Anybody that followed this UK team knows that Kentucky fans are proud of this team… These players certainly were not mercenaries and were able to create a bond with the fans and the school… It is somewhat telling that Nantz has such a definitive opinion on the subject when he clearly hasn’t been exposed to the connection that this particular group of freshmen had with the fans and the University…’

My comment: This is a very true statement by KSR about this team and the connections with the fans… I loved this team!!!


Nantz continues:

“And really, if you knew, and it is probably a dirty little secret, how much work did they really do for the second semester of their freshman year? “If you are John Calipari and you miss one year of a recruiting class like that, you’re dead...


My Comments: First of all John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, and DeMarcus Cousins have continued to go to class in the spring semester… Daniel Orton is reportedly finishing his semester via correspondence in California (this has yet to be confirmed or is difficult to confirm)...

These guys are doing this not only because they like UK and don’t want to hurt the school’s scholarship availability, but because they are really good people...

If you do your homework and find out some of the things these guys did in the community this year especially the story about the birthday party they happened upon for a little girl at PF Changs in Lexington and of course what they did before, during and after the telethon coach Cal did for Haiti...

You can criticize all these kids (not just the UK kids) who are passing up an opportunity to earn a college degree and to continue to mature before jumping to the NBA… For the UK kids it was widely reported during allot of the nationally televised UK basketball game this year that John Wall is an excellent student, always attends class and has a better than 3.2 GPA...

One really gets ms is the slander towards these young men is unfair, unkind and lazy journalism by people in the media (I am not sure what to day about the people who write on the message boards) and just completely uncalled for in my opinion... For Jim Nantz and the guy who hosted this pod cast I listened (two guys who follow college basketball closely) it is unforgivable and very shoddy journalism... Please be fair to these kids and do not just pile on them like so many people are doing...



More from the Masses this time about the Brandon Knight


He will do one season and leave... Just like all players that go to Kentucky do.  It really means nothing
The home of 1 Year One-ders!

My Comment: Kentucky has had one player since the late 60’s leave after his freshmen year and go to the pros… ONE in 30 plus years… That is right ONE and none before this year since the rule was changed back in the 90’s and modified again in two years ago… “Now all the Kentucky players leave after one year or we are the home of the one and done’s…” PLEASE!!!



I hope he can pass a test and how much money did he get from Cal

My Comment: Brandon Knight is a 4.0 student and has been his ENTIRE LIFE!!! I believe he can pass about any test put in front of him…



why in the hell would any black man play at Kentucky? They made it clear long ago they wanted no blacks playing for them. ever!

My comment: UK not wanting African American players is such a farce and I cannot believe this person is living that far in the past... For god’s sake our football coach is African American and UK was the first SEC football team to have African American players… Rupp considered pressuring the school to leave the SEC in the late 50's so he could recruit black players but did not want to take such a stand because that was just not his personality and he just wanted to be coach not a civil rights activist... He recruited Butch Beard very hard before the SEC was integrated and Beard did not come to UK because Rupp told his parents he could not guarantee their sons safety when they played at Ole Miss or Miss St, etc... He was just being honest!!! The fans on the sidelines would try to pluck the hairs off of the UK players in those gyms during games on out of bounds plays and the UK players were all white guys... If this person basing your information on the 1966 Championship game they should know that the other two teams that were at the final four that year beside UK and TW had all white players... If you are basing your information off of the movie Glory Road then you should know that movie is not very factual towards the actual event and even the late Don Haskins of TW said as much!!! The biggest hypocrisy of that movie was showing the crowd waving rebel flags during the game and that simply just did not happen…


These people are not students, and most could not pass a 8th grade competentcy exam. They are paid ballplayers, and the manner of payment is different from the NBA.

My comment: Untrue… They have to pass the SAT to get in to college… Have some cheated??? Yes… Do MOST cheat… No way…


He be looks like he shoulda be playing at a school like Kentucky . . .

My comment… Again, Brandon Knight has a 4.0 GPA and these comments are just awful…



Weekend at the Final Four


This is such a great event to attend…

On Friday we went to open practice and realized very quick that the set up for Lucas Oil Field was awful for watching a basketball except for about 10000 of the 70000 seats… They basically stuck the court in the middle of the football field vs. cutting the stadium in half and selling 40000 tickets with 30000 good for viewing… That meant without UK there I was not going to pay more than $200 bucks for one of the 10000 good seats…

Going in the games is not really what this event is about… What this event is about is basketball fans… There are so many people that just attend the final four because it is the final four… This event is about sports and nothing but sports…

On Friday after we went to the practice we found our way to a bar called Rock Bottom to have some beverage and food… We sat down at the down stairs bar next to three guys from Wisconsin who were there just because it was the final four… We cussed and discussed basketball, baseball and got into some college football… The biggest laugh we got was when I told them that it had come out that day that in the Fisk home run game in the 1975 Series that Bernie Carbo who hit a game tying three run pinch hit home run came out and said he was stoned to the bone during the at bat… Bernie claimed he had smoked a couple of J’s, drank about six beers and had done a handful of amphetamines according to the Yahoo Blog Big Stew.com… Not exactly role model material but a good back story to the Fisk home run… Made me think of this clip:

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/update-all-drug-olympics/1198068/


Also check out “batting stance guys” recreation of the Fisk home run as well as other Series Walk Offs…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B34vVWisTPQ&feature=fvw

For two days and nights we talked basketball and sports in general with High School Basketball coaches, AAU coaches their trying to get their players recruited, college assistants who are there trying to upgrade their job (they are the really great guys to talk with) and rub elbows with Bill Self, Jim Boheim, Darrin Horn, Tom Crean, Denny Crum, Gene Keady, Jim Harrick (we set with him and one of his buddies on Friday night for a couple of hours), Mike Brey and a host of others… Of course there are also the two stalwarts for the final four Henderson’s own Billy T Haynes (aka Boog Alou) and Ken “Scoops” Lawson…

We watched the games on Saturday in the Hyatt on the big screens with a great group of people from Chicago… They were high school coaches, small college coaches and some people who worked for ESPN… Really a great time!!!

Butler gave it a run for sure… They did get some favorable calls against MSU but they were clearly the better team… WVA shot their wad against UK and Duke was very impressive in winning it all…

Final Four is something I would love to do every year as long as I do not have to share a suite with the Kings of Snore, Brad Jarrett and Scott McClure!!!



Random


- The Masters was once again an awesome event… Phil’s charge on Saturday was amazing with two eagles and a birdie in a three-hole stretch… The shot on 13 was amazing on Sunday but the risk to me was not worth the reward… If that balls goes in the water it is up to a two shot swing… I was pulling for Westwood (not against anyone) but I am happy for Phil… Tiger’s performance after a layoff was pretty solid also…

- Tiger made a mistake saying his on the course behavior would change… You cannot take the compete gene out of a competitor… There is nothing wrong with showing a little fire when competing… It happens in all sports but in golf it is a little easier to here… I have been to enough tournaments to know that Tiger is not the only one who drops F bombs, etc…

- Baseball has arrived… Love the weather and love listening to the games… Redbirds are off to a great start…

- Derrick Jeter is a free agent after this year… Can you see him next year playing for the Red Sox??? Me neither that would be like Dean Smith coaching Duke, Coach K at UNC, Bobby Bowden at Florida, Joe Pa at Pitt, Denny Crum at Memphis or The Coach After Eddie at Louisville… So you see “Coach That Came After Eddie” why UK fans have turned on you… It is nothing against Louisville as I do not blame them for hiring you but for you to take that job and think in your arrogance that it would be OK just shows even more about who you are… It is like Jeter going to play for the Red Sox!!! Someone told me at the Final Four that you always think you are bigger than the program or position you are in at the time… Love what you did for UK in your tenure but………..

- Go Joker!!! I am anxious to get to football season… Not real anxious though about the price of my tickets going up 30%… I think that is a stretch but according to UK they have people lined up for tickets if people do not take there’s (I bet the line is shorter though with this increases)… If I lived in Lexington I would not buy tickets but would just go to a select number of games as you can always find a ticket… I think this increase is a bit stiff and rumor is there is going to be a big increase also for basketball… The dollars are important to help pay for the non-revenue sports!!!

- Just to show you it is not a UK or Cal thing... Selby heads off to Kansas... He made this quote last night per the Yahoo Blog The Dagger... "Every kid's goal is to play in the NBA," Selby said. "They want the fame, they want the celebrity status, they want to be on TV and they want to do what they do best. One-and-done, I think all of us hope that we can be one-and-done but we don't know what God's plan is for the future."

- If you saw the end of the Golf Tournament this weekend than you saw one of the great things I love about golf... The players police themselves when it comes to the rules... Brian Davis hit an errant shot on hole 18 into the hazard beside the green... He could take a drop and try to chip in and tie Jim Furyk or he could play the ball from the hazard (it was playable), get the ball on the green and try to make a putt... He struck a good shot but alerted the rules official that he believed he committed a violation when on his back swing he hit a loose impediment before coming through and strking the ball... You cannot ground your club in a hazard except on your down swing (you cannot even touch it to the ground in the hazard before or after the shot)... They looked at the tape and sure enough ever so slightly he had struck a twig which was a two stroke penalty therefore handing the tournament to Furyk...

- Derby time approaches… I am going with Looking for Lucky because of course I have a cat named Lucky… Derby always makes me think about the Great Secretariat… Here are the clips of those three races… Watch the bold move in the Preakness… I still remember how significant the win in the Belmont was and is to this day one of the greatest sports performances period!!! I love the call in the Belmont, “He is moving like a tremendous machine!!!” Makes my hair stand on ends every time I watch it…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyqllleV6WA


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEOlWDz2KBw


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS4f6wiQJh4



Music

Really listening to allot of music on my IPOD… I like doing the random play option because I get to hear allot of the ‘B’ sides of the CD’s I have bought over the years… I am still a buy the CD guy and my downloads are centered around one hit or hits type of groups… Also of course my favorite rap tunes as yes I do have a few…