Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

We need to enjoy this Kentucky team

December 21, 2014 Columns No Comments

With all the attention on Kentucky and the individual talent the Wildcats have, there’s one thing we should all follow John Calipari in doing.

Just enjoy this. Enjoy that we get a chance to see it.

“The one thing I’m doing is really enjoying these guys,” Calipari said after the Wildcats drubbed UCLA 83-44 in the CBS Sports Classic in Chicago.

There’s not much that hasn’t been said about Kentucky to this point. Not much that hasn’t been said about all the high draft picks they’ll surely have if everyone leaves for the NBA. Not much that hasn’t been said about how some McDonald’s All-Americans come off the bench. Not much that hasn’t been said about their size and length. Not much that hasn’t been said about the platoon.

And there’s not much that won’t be said when it’s all over, whether they win a national championship or fall flat in the second round, whether they go undefeated or lose ten games. In trying to find something, we should come back to what Calipari talked about.

Just enjoy this. Enjoy that we get a chance to see it.

Nowadays, a lot of players are quick to run to the NBA as soon as they think they can get drafted in the first round. They may be right or wrong from a practical standpoint, and we’ll analyze that to death and see if one is right or wrong, but that happens. Kentucky has players who opted not to do that, from the Harrison twins to Willie Cauley-Stein to Alex Poythress, the last of whom is unfortunately done for the year with a torn ACL in his knee. We get to see more of them at the college level, and we should enjoy that and appreciate it.

We need to enjoy watching Kentucky’s talented players be satisfied with playing less than 25 minutes because their team won. We need to enjoy watching Kentucky’s talented players trust each other the way they do. We need to enjoy watching them win by playing tremendous defense, in an era when we often blast players who don’t defend. Kentucky held UCLA without a point for almost eight minutes to start the game, and the Bruins shot 8.1 percent from the field in the first half.

“We can all talk about defense and blocking shots and playing hard, but you’ve got 10 guys, 11 guys sharing minutes,” said Calipari.

Kentucky has won all 12 of their games by double-digits. They haven’t played a soft schedule. They’re good. We knew they would be good, and haven’t been disappointed. We wonder how they will do against future opponents, like arch-rival Louisville, who is next. We wonder if giving up offensive rebounds like they have – they gave up 20 against UCLA, and that’s not a major aberration – will one day catch up to them.

“We are the worst defensive rebounding tall team in the history of basketball,” Calipari said. “We give up too many offensive rebounds, and it’s going to cost you.”

That tells you there is room to improve. This team isn’t unbeatable yet, even though they might play like it at times. We’ll see all kinds of space devoted to whether or not they will do that, to whether or not they might beat Duke, or Arizona, or Wisconsin, or any other national title contender. We’ll see plenty of talk about how they should run through a so-so SEC.

Through it all, though, there’s one thing we should do, and that’s what their coach is doing.

Just enjoy this. Enjoy that we get a chance to see it. Because we aren’t likely to see it again very often in the future.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we touch on a number of issues affecting conferences like Conference USA, as well as a big loss for Creighton, less mystery in Arizona, and more on the ACC as we look forward to the weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a short stint in the top spot of the polls, some developments in the Mountain West Conference, and more of the ACC before closing with the Big East and Atlantic 10.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the great games Kentucky has been a part of lately. We go on to other ACC matters involving arch rivals, as well as some quick hits and a conference race that should be as good as expected.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 16, 2016

December 16, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a coaching legend reaching a milestone, the defending champs looking very good and continuing their winning ways close to home, and some off-court news during a light week of game action.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 29, 2016

November 29, 2016 by

Early season tournaments are the focus in this episode, with a look at how strong a few Big East teams are out of the gate and how strong the ACC could be. Plus one SEC team had a big week outside the scope of tournaments.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.