|Percentages:||.446||.316||.680||Team Rebounds: 2|
“NBA, that’s all I’ve got to say,” Wildcats forward Patrick Patterson said. “John Wall is a pro player and he wants the ball in crunch-time situations. Whenever we need a basket or something on the offensive end John is going to be the one to do it.”
Calipari on Wall and Bledsoe:
“I think we’ve got two guys when the game is on the line they are not afraid to make plays, which bodes well for us,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “You saw once again that late in the game I’m not calling a timeout. I don’t need to be a hero, let those guys be the hero.”
“Those two guys have the killer (instinct),” Calipari said. “What you want is the guys with the killer to bleed onto the others. Just a will to win.”
“For such a young team, they showed a lot of poise down the stretch,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “(Wall) is one of the fastest guards I’ve ever seen play on any level. He showed a lot of poise for his age. He’s a terrific player.”
On the other side, Wall was the only Kentucky player to get going before the break. The freshman guard had 15 points but could not do all the heavy lifting with preseason All-American forward Patterson going out of the game less than six minutes in with two fouls. Without Patterson’s inside presence the Wildcats struggled to get anything in the paint and shot just 35.5 percent from the field.
Patterson got going early in the second half on his way to his 25th career double-double, but he missed two point-blank opportunities on the same possession that would have given Kentucky its first lead since late in the first half with just over 10 minutes remaining.
He made up for it later, using a power post move to give Kentucky a 54-53 lead with 6:42 to play.
John Wall will be the first #1 Draft Pick in Kentucky History. He or Patterson should be the First UK Basketballer to bring home the Adolph Rupp Trophy for Player of the Year. I think one of them will bring home the Wooden Trophy as well. Wall may well be the most highly regarded Frosh/Student Athlete to ever have worn the UK Jersey by the time this year is finished. He is certainly lived up to the hype surrounding him as a player. What’s more is that the guy is actually a good student and a good guy as well.
Calipari pulled off a recruiting coup with John Wall. His second best recruiting pitch was retaining Patrick Patterson. These are two All World Student Athletes. I just hope that all of the anti-Cal or anti-Kentucky feeling out there doesn’t hurt them over the course of the year. Lots of guys out there who are waiting like vultures for something, anything to pop up to stall or kill Cal and Kentucky’s momentum. Yet, these same hypocrites defend John Wooden as if their reputations depended upon said defense.
This year, UK has three of the Top Freshman in the CNNSI Power Rankings. Wall and Cousins are ranked #’s 1 and 2 respectively. Eric Bledsoe is ranked at #25. I’m sure that Bledsoe will rise as the year goes on. All three are players. I can see them all going to the NBA after this year. Hopefully, Bledsoe and Cousins come back for a 2nd year. The good thing, though, is that IF Cousins sees it as more wise to come out for the Draft after this year, it will likely mean that he has helped lead UK to a Final Four or better.
This should be a great year for Kentucky Basketball. Patterson, Wall and the rest of the Frosh are finding ways to win this year. Whereas last year, Billy Gillispie was finding ways to lose.
GO BIG BLUE!!!