Over the off season, the NCAA instituted new rules in college basketball, designed to increase scoring and to limit unnecessary contact. The new rules were on display last night at Rupp Arena and even though it was a scrimmage game, Kentucky passed with flying colors.
With referees expected to call games tightly to help increase scoring this season, UK Coach John Calipari has emphasized the need to avoid excessive fouling. The Cats looked like they had been paying attention. The 20 fouls equaled a low for a Blue-White Game in Calipari’s five seasons and were nearly half the average number in a UK game last season (38).
“And we were driving every possession, folks,” Calipari told reporters afterward. “It’s not like we’re running patterns. We’re driving. So in that game there were about 60 to 80 drive attempts. To have 20 fouls between your teams is pretty incredible.”
The teams combined for only four fouls in the first 14 minutes, and had just eight in the first half. For Willie Cauley-Stein, the idea of defending without fouling was a revelation.
“You’re used to being fouled all the time,” he said. “You’re used to having a hand on you all the time.”
Calipari’s repeated emphasis on limiting contact fueled frustration. “Everybody can score,” Cauley-Stein said. “It was bucket after bucket.
“To see it (work) in a live setting, I get it now. It makes more sense.”
While the current team was on display last night, we are rapidly approaching the November signing period for the 2014 class. Tyler Ulis has already committed and the more I hear about him and his game, the more I am looking forward to seeing him play. Here is a recent recap and scouting report of Ulis’s play.
Tyler Ulis (5’9 PG, Marion Catholic (IL) / 2014):
Committed to Kentucky, Ulis was the biggest surprise this weekend. Originally from Lima, Ulis moved to the Chicagoland area prior to his freshman season, and has been one of the nation’s top point guards ever since. Ranked as the 33rd-best player in ESPN’s class of 2014, Ulis chose the Wildcats over Michigan State and Iowa. Lightning quick, Ulis is a deadly shooter from deep, especially with his step-back jump shot. Although he is listed at 5’9, Ulis plays much bigger than his height, and can take the ball to the rim against much bigger defenders. Check out Ulis’ highlights from this weekend.
Tomorrow could be a big day for the 2014 class as both James Blackmon and Devin Booker will make their college choices known tomorrow. Blackmon’s announcement will be televised.
The highly touted Class of 2014 shooting guard is scheduled to announce his college choice Thursday night on ESPNU. An ESPN spokeswoman told the Herald-Leader that Blackmon’s announcement will be televised during halftime of the football game between Louisiana-Monroe and Troy. That game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff, so Blackmon’s announcement will likely come sometime around 9 p.m.
Devin Booker’s announcement will precede Blackmon’s by about five hours. Booker had set Halloween as a tentative date, but that is now set in stone.
His high school coach told the Herald-Leader earlier this month that the 6-foot-5 shooting guard intended to announce his college decision on that date. Booker confirmed that to Scout.com on Tuesday night.
The announcement will be made around 4 p.m. ET at his high school in Mississippi.
Scout.com ranks Booker as the No. 30 overall prospect in the Class of 2014. He is close friends with UK commitment Tyler Ulis and took his official visit to Kentucky at the same time as his fellow Class of 2014 standout.
Booker is also considering Missouri, Michigan and Michigan State. His father was a standout player for Mizzou in the early 1990s. Booker has visited Columbia each of the past two weekends — once for his official visit and once to see his father’s Big Eight championship team honored before an exhibition game.