Wildcats to cut down nets for eighth time in history
Kentucky won national titles in 1948, ’49, ’51 and ’58 under legendary coach, Adolph Rupp. They won the title in 1978 under Joe B. Hall. Rick Pitino won the title in 1996, and Tubby Smith won it in 1998. Now it’s John Calipari’s turn. He will get his first national title tonight against Kansas.
Anthony Davis may be the most dominant college basketball player since Danny Manning. Danny Manning led his team to the 1988 national championship as part of the ‘Danny and the Miracles” Kansas team. That team was an underdog in the tournament. This team is not. Davis just won the Naismith Award and has dominated the postseason awards as well he should have. Darius Miller has been an excellent senior leader for this team and is a game changer just like Davis is. Terrence Jones, though erratic, can have dominant moments. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, when he’s not in foul trouble, is a fantastic driver, scorer, a warrior. Doron Lamb is a good shooter and valuable player. Marquis Teague can be outstanding at times, while at other times he doesn’t really take charge at point guard and can go to sleep. But, overall, the Wildcats are unbeatable this year.
For Kansas it will take the perfect game to beat the Wildcats and Ky will have to struggle. Thomas Robinson is an outstanding power forward averaging 18 and nine this year and Tyshawn Taylor can be a dominant point guard. Seven-footer Jeff Whithey is a very good player and Travis Releford reminds me of T.R. Dunn back in the day at Alabama. He’s a solid, heady player, a winner. They’ve got some other good players, but I just don’t think they have enough firepower to overcome this dominant team.
Rick Pitino was highly complimentary of this ky team after his Louisville team’s game with them Saturday. It was pretty interesting coming from a coach who is not too fond of the Wildcats usually. Pitino said he hasn’t always liked the ky teams (bad kids, Cousins, Wall 2 years ago), but he really likes this group. He said they’re really good kids and really likes their character. Pitino was asked to compare this present ky team to his Ky team in ’96 that won the title, and Pitino said the ’96 team was a lot deeper and beat opponents by an average of 28 points (amazing), but he thought this first six for this year’s team is just as good as his first six were then. They had All-Americans in Ron Mercer, Tony Delk and Antoine Walker and some stellar guys around them. They were loaded. But the difference to me in this Calipari team from HIS previous two is experience. Jones (though erratic) and Lamb are older and the senior Miller is a terrific leader and player. Teague, to me, is their weakness at times, but Lamb and Miller seem to make up for his inability to quarterback the team at the point. Teague is good but he’s inconsistent. I’ve always thought if the opposing point guard could rattle Teague, that could cause the Wildcats some problems. But with Lamb and Miller it almost seems not to matter how Teague plays. Taylor could be the x factor for the Jayhawks if they are to have a chance.
Just don’t think they’ll have enough. They should give the Wildcats a good game for a while, but just won’t be able to get over the top. Davis and company will earn the title and then Davis will look forward to becoming the first pick in the draft in June. That’s pretty exciting stuff for that young guy. His future is unlimited. You’ll see Miller, Jones and Kidd-Gilchrist go in the draft as well. Probably in the first round. Lamb and Teague may need another year. Lamb may be ready, but not sure he’s in the first two rounds where you can get solid money. He could use another year.
Think Teague should definitely come back. But they don’t have to worry about that tonight. They can just take care of business and enjoy the fulfillment of winning it all. John Calipari will cement himself in the elite category of coaches in the country along with Coach K, Pitino and Tom Izzo. Calipari has always been the best recruiter in the country and one of the best motivators. Now he’ll show he’s one of the overall best of all time. I’d put Coach K and Pitino just above him, but he’s right there with two of the greatest of all time. I’d say Coach K is right there with Wooden as the best of all time. Would give Wooden the overall number one nod with Coach K second. Pitino is top five. You gotta have Bobby Knight as three, Dean Smith as four and Pitino as Pitino as five. Calipari will move into that category and overtake Pitino tonight with this title. He could pass Smith and maybe Knight with a few more titles. Maybe even Coach K before he’s through depending on how long he wants to coach at the pressure cooker in Kentucky. But he’s got it going and he’s elite, no doubt. Tonight will cement his legacy.
Kentucky 68, Kansas 58
(Anthony Davis (left, above), Darius Miller and Coach Calipari will get it done tonight and celebrate for the Big Blue Nation.)Basketball,Blog / Comments (0) / make a comment