Saturday, October 15, 2011
The day after the Madness
The picture above was the best moment of the night, but more on that later. Let's get to what we all really tuned in for... The men's basketball team.
Last night was in my opinion, one of best BBM's in recent history. The thing that made it one of the best, besides Matthew Mitchell's MJ impression was the return of the former players to Rupp. Think about this... Rondo, Cousins, Meeks, Knight, Liggins, Prince, Mohammed, and John Wall were all invited back by Calipari to be honored last night. Oh, and did I mention that all those guys came back to take part in this on the same night that Kentucky is hosting the Who's Who in terms of the best high school players in the country for a visit? That is why John Calipari can virtually take his pick year in and year out of the best recruits in America. Because he gets it. Reasons like last night is why he is known as one of if not the best recruiter in the country.
It was also great to see guys like Rondo, Prince, and Mohammed finally invited back to be honored at something like Big Blue Madness. Rondo done a little interview on TV while Madness was going on, and if I'm not mistaking, he said that this is the first time they have all been invited back. If my ears weren't deceiving me, and that is in fact what he said, then that is a disgrace. It takes a coach in John Calipari, who might I add never coached Rondo, Prince, Meeks, Mohammed to invite these guys back for the first time since they left. That is why John Calipari is perfect for this job.
Ok, we got our first glimpse at what the next 5 months or so may look like. And what I noticed was the ridiculous amount of athleticism on this team. I mean come on... when a 6'10 Anthony Davis is as fast and can handle the ball as good as some point guards, you know you have something special. Davis took the ball up the court on a few occasions last night, and the only people beating down the floor was Kidd-Gilchrist and Twany Beckham who by the way was a surprise to say the least. We also got to see what kind of range Anthony Davis has when he stepped outside and drained a three from the top of the key. Now don't get me wrong, he isn't Ray Allen or anything, but it's nice to know that at least he is capable of hitting the shot if needed. Davis will be the best player on this team.
Kidd-Gilchrist looked very good just like he has since about the 3rd grade. He is strong as an ox, and can finish very well around the rim. He will be hard to handle once he gets used to Cal's system, Which by the way he will fit into extremely well. He was built for the DDMO.
Kyle Wiltjer plays like he is from the 1970s. I'm not putting the kid down, that's what I love about him. Hell, it's what I loved about him when he committed to Kentucky. He has some things in his arsenal that you just don't see anymore. When was the last time you saw a player actually give a head fake behind the three point line and move in for a better shot instead of just launching it? When was the last time you seen someone use the "skyhook" who isn't at least 50 years old? Kyle does all that and more. He can take some defenders off the dribble, or he has the ability to step outside and knock down a three. He will be around 2 years or more, and will get better with every season. Last night he didn't do too much, and I think nerves may have got the best of him. But don't worry, he will come up huge this season for the cats.
The only other players that really stood out was Terrence Jones and Darius Miller. Jones once again looks like he is going to start the season playing like Karl Malone, let's just hope he can maintain the intensity we saw last night the whole year. And Darius Miller shot lights out from deep. I hope he finally has a break out year and shows everyone what he is actually capable of.
All in all, this team looks impressive, and is going to be a match up nightmare at every position for just about any team. The first game can't get here soon enough.
Oh, and the best moment of the night for me was Matthew Mitchell doing one hell of a job with his impression of Michael Jackson. If you missed it, go to youtube now! You wont be disappointed. Mitchell is another coach who understands how to relate to his kids, and can get down on their level and gain their respect and trust. He has done an amazing job coaching the women's team, and will continue to do so. Won't be long before he will have the women's team hanging Final Four banners.