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


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!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

April 4, 2017 by

We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

College Basketball Tonight – April 2, 2017

April 3, 2017 by

In our Final Four special edition, three head coaches join us to offer their insights on the Final Four, as well as their own programs.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

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