Talkin’ the Cats

Go Big Blue!

Go Big Blue!

 

 

 

I flew into Phnom Penh last night at about 5PM.  Reached my hotel,California2, about 30 minutes later. I checked in and stashed my bags in my room then headed down to the bar to have a drink.

I was sitting there talking to Jim, the Hotel owner, for a few minutes discussing my book, his photography and Cambodia.

I sat there for about an a half hour when two gents sat down next to me.  One guy was from Las Vegas.  The other gent was a fellow Kentuckian who has a brother living in Shelbyville.  We sat there for a little over two hours talking college basketball.  The fellow from Vegas had attended UTEP (Texas Western) back in the ’60s.  He attended the ’66 Final Four.  I was hatin’.  Envious as hell.

He lives in Vegas now and is a UNLV fan.  The Kentuckian is, of course, a Kentucky Basketball fan.

I’m thousands of miles away from home and sitting there talking Kentucky ball with two fellow fans of the game.  How cool is that!

 

Kentucky Football #DESPERATION

 

OPERATION DESPERATION

OPERATION DESPERATION

Basically, Mitch Barnhart and the UKAA  are admitting that Kentucky Football is going to be pathetic again this year.  This is a plea.

“We’re pathetic.  We know we’re pathetic.  But please still buy tickets to see this sorry ass team lose.  We’re guaranteed to win at least two games.  We s’pose ta be SEC.”

I don’t care if it is a Twitter fan message.  I don’t care if it is from Randall Cobb.  It reeks of desperation for the UKAA to put that up on a Billboard.

If you can accept losing, you can’t win.
Vince Lombardi
Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
Vince Lombardi

Kentucky Wins the 2012 National Championship!

They said it couldn’t be done.  No team starting all underclassmen and dominated by Frosh Stars could win a National Title.  Carmelo Anthony was a fluke.  He had Senior Leadership.

Others said that if Kentucky won with this “Pro” laden team that it would be a Collegiate apocalypse.

Funny, no one thinks it’s the end of the world when (predominantly) white guys leave College early for careers at Google, Microsoft or Apple.

Does Mark Emmert think of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as One and Doners?

I don’t understand all of the lamentations and gnashing of teeth by the die hard traditionalists.  Students attend University to prepare them for a career.  The NBA is a career for these guys.  If a computer geek or a mathematician is recruited out of school for his talents, no one complains.  I guess that’s a more valid career path than the NBA or NFL.  I don’t see it that way.  Apparently, others do.

John Calipari takes talented athletes and prepares them for the professional world.  His kids go on to earn accolades and awards at the next level.  Is that not what a good college professor is supposed to do for his students?  Calipari develops their talents into marketable skills.  Skills that enable them to enter the marketplace of their profession with an advantage over students who learn the game from other coaches.

Because Cal does this and does so unapologetically, he’s a smarmy, greasy salesman.  I think it makes him an honest broker of future marketability for kids whose talent lies in the sport of basketball.  He’s honest.  He says come play with me and I’ll teach you how to excel at the college level and prepare you for the Professional level.  What is wrong with that?  Should he be like Coach K and demand that kids delay their professional debut even though they are ready to enter their chosen field of endeavor.  That would be the definition of smarmy and greasy to me.  Coach K is righteously indignant when a kid goes Pro before he gives his permission.  Coach Cal informs his men of their options and advises them based on the best information available at the time.

The NCAA makes millions off of these kids.  It is a matter of course that the NCAA wants to maximize the potential pay off on the marketability of the “student-athlete.”  The NCAA is not interested in what’s right for the Athlete.  The NCAA is interested in making more money by marketing big time Collegiate Star Athletes.  That’s the real concern behind the laments and the teeth gnashing.

If an Athlete is ready to go Pro, there should be no more reason to hold him back than there was reason to hold back Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.  The NCAA and their silly NBA Draft deadlines are full of stale, last century thought processes.  These people and their media instigators need to join the present.

Anthony Davis is ready to go Pro.  If he stays at UK for one more year, it’s a decision that the NCAA should respect.  If Anthony Davis decides to enter the NBA Draft after one year, the NCAA should give it no more thought than if a Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or a Mark Zuckerburg leaves school to start a business.  It’s the same thing.

Risk/Reward.  There is too much risk in staying in College for an Athlete like Anthony Davis.  He’s ready.  The NBA thinks he’s ready.  The NBA is his prospective employer.  They know whether or not they wish to hire an Athlete or not.  It’s a decision between the employer and the potential employee.  The NCAA should back out of it.

In my opinion, a player should be able to enter the draft, attend the draft camps at NBA expense and, if that player is not drafted, he should be able to re-enter college as a Student Athlete.  That is exactly what these guys are.  They are student ATHLETEs.  They are studying under a Coach who is teaching/coaching them on the principles and skills of entering into a Professional Career as an ATHLETE in the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS or any of a multitude of other sports.  The NBA Draft should be treated as an internship.  Nothing more and nothing less.

A law student interns.  A medical student interns.  Business Management Majors intern.  Some of these students have paid internships.  Some of the brighter and more talented students enter into internships that have perks.  Many of these students who take these internships are on scholarships.  If a law student takes an internship with a prestigious Law Firm, they aren’t ripped off of scholarship status.  That internship is seen as a positive.  Conversely, if a Student on an Athletic Scholarship enters the NBA Draft and attends Draft Camps or Skill Camps, they’re punished for doing so.

National Collegiate Athletic Association.  They are supposed to be helping these kids enter into their chosen Profession in the most advantageous position possible.  That’s not what they do, though.  The NCAA does everything in it’s power to keep it’s Students AWAY from their Profession of choice.  They do their best to make a student ATHLETE enter into his/her chosen Profession as blind as possible.  The NCAA attempts to bully student ATHLETEs into staying in school so that the NCAA can profit from their presence and skill sets.  Instead of joining these kids in their sojourn from student to Professional, the NCAA sets out to do it’s best to keep them blind and distanced from their chosen profession.

The NCAA should encourage kids to enter into agreements with Agents so that their student ATHLETES can benefit from persons who know the business.  Instead, the NCAA drives agents underground and keeps it’s student ATHLETES from learning the details of the business until moments before they enter into their chosen careers.  This is a ridiculous standard.  A ridiculous procedure.  The NCAA is part of the problem in setting these kids up for failure when they finally enter the Professional World of Athletics.

Kentucky just made the witch hunt a little harder, though.  Calipari embraces the system.  Instead of tying blinders around his kids eyes, he tries to enlighten them as to the practices and standards of the Profession to which they aspire.  For this, he is vilified.  He’s hated.  He’s hunted.

It’s a ridiculous circus is the NCAA.  A grand joke.  All for the love of profit.  And they call Calipari dirty.  Get real.  The NCAA is the problem.

Kentucky Wins! (and almost gets a Triple Double Double)

MKG 19pts and 9rbds

AD 12pts and 14rbds

TJ 15pts and 11rbds

GO CATS!!!

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*** Syracuse goes down to Cincy.  KU gets hit by the Bears.

Kentucky Wildcats Kentucky

Name FG 3Pt FT Off Reb Ast PF Pts
Anthony Davis 4-8 0-1 4-5 1 14 0 2 12
Terrence Jones 5-12 0-2 5-8 3 11 0 2 15
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 5-9 0-1 9-13 5 10 1 3 19
Doron Lamb 4-7 1-3 3-4 0 2 0 3 12
Darius Miller 0-2 0-1 0-0 1 1 3 3 0
Marquis Teague 0-6 0-0 2-4 0 0 6 0 2
Kyle Wiltjer 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0
Totals 18-44 1-8 23-34 10 38 10 14 60

Kentucky rolls Florida for a Perfect SEC!

Jones and Davis manhandle the Gators!

Jones and Davis manhandle the Gators!

They destroyed Florida in the last 9 minutes.  Intimidated them.  Manhandled them.  Shut them DOWN!!!  Davis went for his 12th Double Double with 22 pts and 12 rebounds against the 16th ranked team in the land.  If that isn’t National Player of the Year game, I don’t know what is!

This team is on a roll.  Final Four!  UK is heading your way.  Be ready.  Syracuse, you better bring your A Game if you want to wrestle with the Cats.  No one else has a chance.  There will be no early round upset for these laser focused Cats.  Ain’t gonna happen.

16-0 in the SEC.  30-1 on the Season.  The SEC Tournament is waiting next week.  KEntucky should run through the SEC Tournament on the back of Davis and a steady Marquis Teague.  There is no one in the SEC that can touch Kentucky this year.  They’ll roll through from the SECT to the Final Four.

Bring on Louisville, Duke, UNC, Michigan State, Kansas and Syracuse.  Just don’t make my boys take on Murray State.  It would be terrible.  I want to see The Racers upset Duke or Kansas.  I don’t want to have to watch UK blow them out of the water.

Please!  Please!  Please!  Let UCONN make the NCAAT.  Kentucky can get revenge for the last two meetings and crush Jim Calhoun and his NCAA sanctioned cheating Huskies.

Go Big Blue!!!

ONE AND DONE, Kentucky Basketball and John Calipari

2011-2012 Kentucky Frosh and Sophmores

Understand, we don’t recruit a young player saying that there is no question he’s a one-and-one player. We don’t know! Are you telling me that we knew Eric Bledsoe had a chance out of high school to go in the first round after one year? If they tell you that, they’re lying. Those same people also said our three freshman starters from last season would leave after one year. Two came back because they wanted to win a national championship and the other one that left had a 4.0 grade-point average and 60 credit hours.

I tell every player that we recruit that I don’t have a magic wand. At the end of the year, we’ll see where everything is, we’ll give you the information, and you and your family make a choice to stay or come back. I would love to coach all of these guys for four years and have them earn a college degree in four years, but if they have an opportunity to reach their dreams, I will not be the person to hold them back, nor will I let anybody at this university or in my program do it.

~ John Calipari

I don’t see Cal pushing players out the door.  I see him evaluating their development and their potential earnings and advising them according to the possibilities inherent therein.

Would Knight have gone higher in the draft after one year.  Would Cuz have gone higher with one more year.  Doubtful.

Knight maintained a high GPA throughout High School.  If memory serves, his mother was a teacher.  I doubt he’d have gotten away with slouching off on his studies with such being the case.

The One and Done System is self perpetuating.  In order to get the most talent players, Cal or any coach must exhibit the ability to get these kids to the next level in the most expeditious manner.  Holding them back or being unable to develop their games would be disadvantageous to  Kentucky and Calipari.

Cal misspoke only slightly when he made the statement that the Wall/Cuz/Bledsoe/Orton/PPat Draft Night was the greatest night in Kentucky History.  That night will and has lead to an ongoing influx of talent to Kentucky Basketball that should result in a National Title.  At least one National Title.

Cal does not have to pay players to come to UK.  The most talented, the more diligent and the more intelligent players will come to UK because they know that it is *THE* path to the next level and that hard work will pay off with a greater pay day than any booster could possibly offer them for a one or two year stay at some other school.

With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Muhammad and Noel here next year.

The kids that want to play with the best and win are the kids that are going to come to Kentucky.  We’ve seen that in this last class.  These kids came together because they want to win.

Some of these kids will actually stay so as to increase their long term potential.  That is what the intelligent kids will take into consideration.  The selfish, impatient kids should go elsewhere and probably will be encouraged to do so.  Such has been the pattern that I’ve noticed since Calipari has joined the Kentucky family.

Calipari wants to win.  As Wooden and other Coaching Greats have made quite plain in book after book, talent wins.  Well prepared talent wins more.  Experience is good if a coach can get it, but, talent bests experience.  This team is proving that right now.

Cal’s challenge is to ensure that these kids are prepared for the games and prepared for their futures.  If he does that, UK will win and the kids will win which will bring in more and more talent which will bring more and more wins.

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GO BIG BLUE!!!

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis ~ The Prodigee

The kid is being compared to Kevin Garnett.  Some say that he might be a better prospect.   He has all of the swagger but none of the arrogance of KG.  The Dude is all business.  This time next year, he’ll be a Millionaire.

When he’s on the court, his presence must be respected.  His 13 points a game are nothing compared to his denial of offense to the opponent.  How many shots are altered?  How many opponents intimidated by his presence?  They tried to go around him, go over him, go through him.  None of it works.  The kid improvises.  The kid adapts.  The kid overcomes.  Gunny Highway would be proud.  There is no one else like him in College Ball.  I don’t think there is anyone since the early days of Shaq that has had the presence that Davis has on the court.  Hell, the kid can even play a little point from time to time and has been green lighted to shoot the Trey.   Unbelievable!

There really is nothing else that can be said about him.  He’s lifted Kentucky Basketball to the pinnacle during this season.  Kentucky fans (myself included) are hoping that he’ll get the trifecta ~ Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.  Three or four days after that, we’re hoping that he gets MOP of the Final Four and hoists that Championship Trophy.

Davis goes down into history as one of the most talented and accomplished players in Kentucky Basketball.  All of that is possible after one year!  ONE FREAKIN’ YEAR!

If he decides that he loves it and comes back for one more, they’ll name a city after him.  I’m sure that there are babies being born all over the State of Kentucky right now being name Anthony.  Kentucky fans are just that crazy.

I’ve got friends in Thailand, Afghanistan, Scotland and Romania who are now following Davis and Kentucky Basketball.   Much of that because of the excitement surrounding the Sultan of Swat wearing blue and a BIG UNIBROW down in Lexington.

Nerlens Noel is probably giving Kentucky and Calipari more consideration because of Davis.  I’d love to see the kid come back and play beside Noel.  Then see them go one, two in the NBA Draft that year.  One can dream.

Thing is, all of this is nothing compared to the scouts evaluation of him. In a loaded class with Harrison Barnes, all eleven hundred of the Kentucky kids, Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, and Thomas Robinson, Davis is still miles ahead of the rest in terms of ability and projected ceiling. It’s not just the production, that stuff can come from physical dominance at the college level. But it’s that his defensive instincts and determination are so high. He’s a smart, coachable player that doesn’t block just the first shot. He blocks the second shot. He blocks the third shot. To say he may be the best defensive prospect since Kevin Garnett is not an exaggeration.

Kentucky Basketball and Racism

Tubby Smith is not doing so well at Minnesota.  Soon, he’ll be on the hot seat.  When that happens, the media and others will start talking about his time at Kentucky again.  Inevitably, they’ll drag Kentucky over the coals again.  Kentucky fans will be called racists again.

They’ll ignore the fact that we actually did want Billy Gillispie fired after a mere two seasons.  Gillispie is white.  So, that doesn’t fit the stereotype.  If Kentucky fans wanted Billy G gone after two years and gave Tubby nearly a decade to get it together, well, that doesn’t fit the agenda.  That makes it seem that Kentucky fans are simply crazy in a basketball sports fan manner.  It kills the idea that Kentucky fans hated Tubby Smith simply because he was Black.  That won’t do.  The hurts the media agenda to paint Kentucky and it’s fans as backward, unrepentant racist who wish for nothing more than a return to Jim Crow.

We can’t have that.  What would Michael Wilbon whine about?  How will he justify his rants against Kentucky fans?  Dick Vitale would have to admit that Tubby Smith actually failed at UK and his over emotional, lunatic rants and pleas were over the top and unwarranted.

We can’t have that.  That would require an admission of error.  Heaven forbid!

The racist thing is overplayed in America today.

For instance, the starting 5 at UK are African American. The Starting 5 at UK has been African American for the most part for over 20 years. Kentuckians get behind these kids wholeheartedly.

Somehow, these same fans who love Black kids who actually play the game hate a Black Coach simply because he’s BLACK.

HUH!?!

How is that possible?

Tubby didn’t measure up. It had absolutely nothing to do with his skin color.

Those same “racist” fans turned on Billy Gillispie faster than they turned on Tubby Smith. Billy G is a white guy. So, do Kentuckians hate white people as well or do they dislike losing ten games a year and consistent team turmoil.

Could it be that what they wanted was a winning coach who understood the passion that they have for Kentucky Basketball. Kentucky Basketball is supposed to run the fast break in a way that makes Kentucky Derby thoroughbreds look like snails in hibernation.

That wasn’t Tubby ball. Ball Line D was and is boring. Especially when Tubby is recruiting scrubs out of Canada and Fordham to run it. THAT was the rub. 99% of Kentucky fans couldn’t have cared less about the skin color of Tubby. If the guy would have come in and rolled like Pitino or Calipari, they’d be naming their kids Tubby and Orlando. These same Cat fans bitched and moaned about Joe B. Hall for the whole damn time that he was there. Joe B, Hall made 3 Final Fours and won a Championship with his own team.

That is not to say that Kentucky doesn’t have its share of racists. Then again….so does Minnesota and every other state in America.

I don’t know how anyone can say with a straight face that the people who love John Wall, Anthony Davis, MKG, Jamaal Mashburn, Derek Anderson, Jamaal Magloire Demarcus Cousins and Jack Goose Givens, Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson and the football talent that is Randall Cobb hates Tubby Smith due solely to his skin color.

That won’t stop the media from standing by their lies and erroneous assertions.

Minnesota will eventually fire Tubby Smith unless he decides to retire after this year.  When that happens, the reason will have nothing to do with Smiths race.  It will be his record and his inability to take the Gophers to the next level.  When you pay a Coach a Top 20 Salary, you expect Top 20 results.  That’s the bottom line.

Minnesota is not getting Top 20 results from Tubby Smith.  Smith, thought, seems to believe that this money is his due based on past results.  He won a Championship in 1998.  Because of that, Tubby seems to believe that Minnesota should give him a BIG PAYCHECK regardless of results AT MINNESOTA.

Smith is no longer capable of Top 20 results.  He hasn’t been for some time.  Minnesota is slowly coming to this realization.  Too late, though.  They’ve wasted 4 years and nearly 8 Million dollars learning what Kentucky learned in Tubbys last 2 or 3 years.

Minnesota deserves this, though.  They arrogantly assumed that they were getting the Tubby of the 1990s.  Fasinatingly similar to Louisville and their hiring of Pitino.  UL thought that they were getting the Pitino of the 90s.  They didn’t.  He’s not.  Neither of them are.

There’s a lesson there.

Terrence Jones out drinking at 230AM?

Terrence Jones. Out with friends in the wee hours of the morning the night before the first game of the season.  Alleged to have had a drink or two (even though he was underage). The night before the first game of the season. I was told by a gal who “knows” TJ that he was calling her at 3AM the night before the UCONN Final Four Game. This behavior goes hand in had with that nonsense.

TJ is not JUST an average College Student. He’s an Elite Athlete on an Elite College Basketball Team. A team whose goal is to win a National Championship. That’s a lot of responsibility.  Carrying that load this year has the potential for a huge pay off if Jones carries it well.  If this kind of irresponsible behavior continues, those goals will not be met.

This is one of my few complaints about Cal at UK. His teams lack discipline. They lack focus at times. At key times, during key games.

If he truly wants that National Championship, he needs to rectify this. Immediately.

“The occupants of the victims’ vehicle were not charged with any wrongdoing. No evidence of drugs or alcohol was found,” Calipari wrote.

FROM KSR:

Sources say Jones was found at a location along Alexandria Drive and was “slightly under the influence with alcohol.” Jones indicated he left the scene, “hoping that Coach Calipari would not find out.”

University officials said they have no comment on whether Jones, who is underage, was drinking.

I don’t care if Jones was drinking or not.  He’s supposed to be the leader on this team.  He’s supposed to be an elite athlete focused on achieving a goal.  Being out at 230AM the night before the first game of the season is a complete lack of focus.  That action is a total disregard for the rest of the team.  This is not the example that Jones should be setting for the Frosh on the team.  Period.  Jones needs to get his act together.   Jones is not just a college student out partying.  I don’t want to hear that excuse.  If Jones didn’t think that he was doing anything wrong, he would not have fled the scene of the accident in the hopes that Coach Cal would not find out.  Obviously, TJ knew that he was in the wrong.

Get yer shit together Jones.  You too, Cal.  WTF!

As an afterthought, Wall and Cousins were supposedly seen out late the night before the West Virginia game.  That team had an off shooting night against West Virginia.  Anyone see a pattern here?

Coincidence that both teams had off shooting nights during those games. Fatigue, maybe?  Ya think!

CATS ADVANCE! Slick Rick and the Tards Sent Home Early.

I don’t care who you are.  That’s funny.

Does Ricky P still love his team?  HAHAHAHA

Kentucky Advances…BARELY!

Knights Only Basket Saves the Day!

Kentucky escapes with a 59-57 victory over the Tigers of Princeton.  I’m watching the score on the internet during the game.  I’m in Hanoi.  Can’t see the game.  Can’t get it on the internet.  All I can get is Yahoo Sports Game In Progress.  I was going insane.

Had to leave for the Airport with Ten Minutes to go.  Had no idea if they won until I got to the Business Class Lounge and hooked up to the Net.  Elated.  Freakin’ elated that they won.  Almost happy I didn’t get to watch this one.  lol  It would have been a a ball buster to have to sit through this one.  I might have destroyed my TV.

GO CATS!  Survive and Advance.  Two points up is better than 2 points down.

GO BIG BLUE!!!

I still can’t believe that the Tards lost to Morehead.  I’m still laughing my ass off.

FREE ENES — UNNY STYLE

 

FREE ENES

FREE ENES

 

FREE ENES

‘Nuff said…

My gal painted this for me.  Not quite finished, though.

I asked Unny to paint this sign for me on a whim.  Now that it’s done, I don’t know what to do with it.  Well, when she completes it.  Maybe we’ll sell it on ebay.  lol  Hell, maybe I should Fed Ex it to Coach Cal so he can take it with him to the NCAA Appeals Board.  haha

Disappearious Miller

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ5Oo1w-tpHNnEyBM9O_V87bz3HTbI2omYV-eQHySml8Ct3ieS9lQ

The Incredible Shrinking Miller

Disappearious Miller!

What is wrong with this kid?

Cal needs to utilize the bench or find some way to both motivate and build his confidence.  The kid is an enigma.  He’s got talent.  Seems too intimidated to see it forward.

No one is a given starter.  He’s gotta get that shit goin’ and stop letting his game go all Jim Thompson.

The Cats can use that Offense and some board crashing.  Disappearious has as much offense as the French at Dien Bien Phu.  He’s as wasted on Defense as the Maginot Line.

We need an Attila or a Genghis out there and all he gives us is Howe in New York Harbor.

The CATS need Darius.  I don’t see why he can’t see that and do something about it.

I’m starting to think that he should be red-shirted next year and taken to the DOD SERE School so that they can install a set of balls and some testosterone.  At this rate, the NBA is out of the question.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTXX_TBzVJ1sRreFKzNM_DAvSfq3i7nWZRYoqKM5ExD_GtqGbTX

Is this where Darius stays during games?

A Medical Redshirt may be in order as somehow, somewhere and at some time Billy Gillispie removed his balls.

I gotta question.  Does he ever leave the locker room during a game?  He’s played well about twice this year.  Both games UK Lost.  That’s a problem.  He’s not flowing in the system.  He should be leading.

If he doesn’t contribute something this year, he should be invited to transfer next year.

 

What do you think?  Is Darius hopeless?  Can he contribute?  Will be contribute?