It turns out that the Blue White scrimmage last week was just the beginning point for John Calipari tinkering with the Kentucky Wildcats roster. Eric Lindsey from CoachCal.com tells us that Calipari turned the last part of yesterdays practice into a scrimmage, complete with refs and he had different looks for each 5 minute segment of the 20 minute scrimmage. Here are some of Lindsey’s observations:
- Former coach Joe B. Hall must have heard Coach Cal was messing with his two big men idea because he was at practice Monday to watch. I was on the viewing deck above Hall, so I couldn’t see his reaction once Calipari used it again, but I’m sure it put a smile on his face. If you can recall, Hall has been in Coach Cal’s ear about using Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein together. During last week’s episode of “All-Access Kentucky,” Hall was seen at Wheeler Pharmacy showing how to use two big men with ketchup and mustard bottles.
- Coach Cal has tossed out some ideas that he’s never used before, but the twin tower look is more than just an idea at this point; it’s looking like a very real possibility. For the second day in a row, Calipari played Noel and Cauley-Stein together in the fourth and final segment of the scrimmage. Those two played alongside Alex Poythress, Archie Goodwin and Julius Mays, creating a physically intimidating and imposing lineup. The big lineup dominated again, defeating the other team 16-7. Granted, the other lineup featured Jon Hood at the four and Kyle Wiltjer at the five, but it was still an impressive performance.
- If there is one concern with a big lineup, it’s how the Cats match up defensively with smaller, quicker players. I don’t think that would a problem with this group. Cauley-Stein and Noel are certainly towering trees, but they’re not your traditional bigs. Cauely-Stein may be the fastest 7-footer I’ve ever seen, and Noel has guard-like bounce and quickness to him. In other words, they can defend the wings. Throw in Goodwin and Poythress’ raw athleticism and speed and you’ve got a defensive lineup that could be the best in the country.
Anthony Davis has not played an official NBA game yet, but the comparisons being made so far are mind boggling. Already, Davis is drawing comparisions to Tim Duncan:
So it is not without merit that New Orleans’ Anthony Davis — the precocious 19-year-old from Kentucky drafted No. 1 overall in June — has earned impossible billing as “The Next Tim Duncan” among some NBA observers.
To this common perception, the original Tim Duncan offers this humble rejoinder:
“I’m not gone yet,” said Duncan, the Spurs’ 36-year-old, two-time league MVP. “Can I be me for a little while?”
True, Duncan has not yet ceded the stage as one of the NBA’s top big men.
But Davis is coming. And he is coming fast.
Wednesday night at New Orleans Arena, in the season-opener for the Spurs and Hornets, the next Duncan gets a chance to begin his professional career against the real thing.
Consider it the circle of life, writ large: Two No. 1 draft choices, selected 15 years apart. One playing his 1,112th regular-season game, the other playing his first.
I’m not really sure what the Kentucky Kernel is digging at, but they have filed an appeal with Kentucky’s Attorney General after their open records request to UK was denied back in August:
The open-records request, filed in late August, asked for communication among UK men’s basketball staff or UK Athletics staff who deal with men’s basketball regarding freshman player Nerlens Noel.
UK’s legal office denied the request, citing a section of the Kentucky Open Records Act, saying “all preliminary drafts, notes, correspondence with private individuals, other than correspondence which is intended to give notice of a final action of a public agency and preliminary recommendations and preliminary memoranda in which opinions are expressed or policies formulated or recommended are exempt.”
The denial also noted that “this matter is still under review,” although the request did not refer to any matter in particular.
The Courier-Journal in Louisville also requested the same records the day before the Kernel did, but decided not to appeal the denial.
The attorney general’s office notified UK of the appeal on Sept. 14. On Sept. 20, Lexington law firm Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney PLLC sent the office a response, representing UK.
The response cited both the “preliminary records” exemption used in the original denial and violations of FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as reasons not to disclose the records. UK originally did not cite FERPA in its denial.
Looks like Jerry Tipton and Pete Thamel may have a protegee on the Kernel staff. Joy.