Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kentucky Had a Little Lamb

Lamb is shooting 55% from 3 (Getty)
And he just dropped a bomb on Winthrop yesterday. Doron Lamb set the Kentucky record for points by a freshman with his 32 point performance. Lamb is one of three freshman that start for the Wildcats this year, and was probably the least heralded of the three coming into the season. Daily Onions has highlighted Terrence Jones previously, who has put up a measly 18 ppg and 9.5 rpg average eleven games into his college career, including five double-doubles (he's no Rick Jackson though). The other young gun is guard Brandon Knight, who was considered one of the best in recruiting class of 2010.

Kentucky depending on freshmen....sounds familiar.  And for that reason, Daily Onions is staying away. Last year, I was adamantly against Kentucky going far in the tournament. I was a huge John Wall fan, but wouldn't trust DaMarcus Cousins as far as I could throw him (maybe not the best analogy, since Cousins is a house...but you get the point).  So I stayed away, and the the Wildkits, a team ranked #1 for most of the season, were booted from the tourney by West Virginia in the Elite 8.

This year, I see the same. Next year, I see the same. For the third straight time, coach John Calipari (another member of the Daily Onions Don't Trust List) has the top rated recruiting class coming in next year. Odds that Jones, Knight and Lamb are all in Lexington next year are the same odds that (Alert: Non-basketball reference) Matt Dodge's family is inviting Tom Coughlin over for Christmas dinner. Jones and Knight are predicted to be Top 10 picks in June's NBA Draft.

Still smiling despite NCAA violations in his past (AP)
So is that what Calipari has made Kentucky? A one and done school.  Let's give it a shot with a team that depends on 70% of its productivity to come from freshmen. We don't win this year - try it again next year with a predominantly different cast of characters.  I guess so. Remember, at last year's NBA Draft, where five Kentucky players were drafted in the first round, Calipari said it was the best day in UK basketball history. Got it.

Well, maybe he "misremembers" the real history of the Kentucky basketball program. Ya know, some guy named Adolph Rupp, winningest program in college basketball history, 7 national championships, that kind of stuff.

Sometimes I wonder what Calipari's goal is. Prepare kids for the NBA, or win college titles? Two teams (UMass and Memphis) he's taken to the Final 4 have had those records erased from the record books for NCAA violations. I'm guessing maybe it is indeed prepping them for the next level. Is that wrong, not necessarily. In my opinion though, some of Coach Cal has done disrespects the college game, and the Kentucky faithful deserve better than that.

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