Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2009 09:40 PM
As reported Tuesday evening, Memphis Tigers coach John Calipari is headed for Lexington after signing a huge deal with the Kentucky Wildcats.
CBS is speculating Calipari, who was bringing the top-rated recruiting class to Memphis next season, could take some of those players to Kentucky with him.
Bluechippers DeMarcus Cousins and Xavier Henry are rumored to be on their way to UK along with unsigned stud John Wall. Sources close to the team also said freshman Wesley Witherspoon would be transferring to the Wildcats program, leaving him unavailable for next season.
If junior Jodie Meeks and sophomore Patrick Patterson return, Kentucky is automatically thrust into national title contention. Role-playing forwards Ramon Harris and Perry Stevenson will be back for their final year. The remaining UK talent will likely stay put after many of them did not get along with Gillispie.
Kentucky has plenty of talent coming in, including center Daniel Orton. The 6-foot-10 bruiser is a perfect complement to Patterson’s athleticism around the paint.
The only real negative thing I see about this move and all its parts is how the UK faithful will react to the one-and-done talent Calipari gladly welcomes to his programs. It’s not what Kentucky basketball is all about.
The Wildcats have the most vocal and sometimes delusional backers on the planet. They called for Gillispie’s head after last season’s loss to Gardner-Webb in the second game of the sch... [More]
Posted Friday, March 27, 2009 10:13 AM
After watching the Blue Devils get run out of the gym by the Villanova Wildcats Thursday, it got my gears working.
Duke is a far cry from its legendary teams of the early 90’s or the 2001 national champion squad. They’ve been consistently good over the past few seasons but can’t seem to compete with the elite programs when it comes to a deep tournament run.
What’s the biggest issue holding back Blue Devils basketball?
I’m pointing to the school’s academic standards. Duke is a prestigious school when compared to some of the surrounding postsecondary institutions. Players committing to Duke know they have to attend class as well as practice, which isn’t appealing to a lot of top-tier, one-and-done talent that is using college as a springboard to the pros.
The Blue Devils have lacked that special individual for a while. Gerald Henderson is a good player – not great – and took three years to play to his potential. Mike Krzyzewski may have the patience to wait for these players to blossom but the rest of country’s best programs are passing him by while he does.
Duke doesn’t bring in game breakers. The Blue Devils load up on Mr. Basketball winners that may suit a particular role in Coach K’s schemes but don’t have that ability to take over when the team needs a bucket.
Duke’s top recruit coming in next season is the versatile 6-foot-9 Ryan Kelly out of Raleigh. Last time I checked, the Blue Devils had one of those. According to Rival... [More]
Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 04:56 PM
The NIT isn't the spectacle that the national tournament has become, but it's college hoops none the less.
So, now that the field of 65 is set, who's the best of the rest?
I like the way Baylor ripped through the Big 12 tournament and waited the entire season to live up to the hype. Its 2-3 zone was effective with twin seven-footers Josh Lomers and Mamadou Diene clogging up the paint.
The Bears have a deep and experienced backcourt led by senior Curtis Jerrells and sophomore LaceDarius Dunn. Senior forward Kevin Rogers was stepped up in recent games, giving BU punch in the frontcourt.
Baylor is a No. 3 seed and opens against another underachieving program, the Georgetown Hoyas, Wednesday at home.
So, while we wait for the Madness to kick off Thursday, the NIT will hold us over.
Who you got?
Posted Sunday, March 15, 2009 10:07 AM
There's been so much parity in college basketball this season that even the No. 1 seeds aren't solid on the morning of Selection Sunday.
Louisville's Big East titles sure up its spot. And North Carolina, agree or disagree, is still the frontrunner to win the national title.
But the final two No. 1 seeds are still to be decided.
One will go to UConn and/or Pitt out of the Big East. For me, I think Pitt should get the nod over UConn. The Panthers beat the Huskies twice this season. The only thing going against Pitt's bid for a top seed is a ho-hum non-conference schedule.
The Panthers have wins over Texas Tech, Duquesne, Florida State and Washington State which won't turn heads with the selection committee. The Noles are the only tournament-bound program out of those wins.
Connecticut does have twin blemishes to the Panthers but boasts a win over the Cardinals in conference play. The Huskies have notable non-con wins over Gonzaga, Miami, Michigan and Wisconsin. All those teams have a shot at the field of 65 with the Canes probably the odd man out.
As for the last No. 1 seed, a lot of analyst have slid the Memphis Tigers into this spot. Just like every year, the biggest argument against the Tigers is the cupcake C-USA schedule. Memphis made good on the selection committee's faith last year and took a No. 1 seed all the way to the national title game.
Coach John Calipari is well aware of the discount the conference schedule... [More]