For years, John Calipari has raged against the one and done rule. He does not like it and he wishes that it were two years. And for the most part, critics have scoffed and given him a “Sure you hate it” attitude and continued to condemn him as everything that is wrong with college basketball for taking one and done players.
MEanwhile, over in North Carolina, Coach K has been putting together his own one and done factory at Duke with Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers slipping out the door after one year. And next year, Dukes class is loaded with three one and done players on board. And what does Coach K do? Comes out and says he does not like the one and done rule and more importantly, does not like that the “big four freshmen” are getting this year.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski doesn’t think it’s right that the “Big 4″ college freshmen are getting non-stop media attention and he’s pointing the blame squarely at ESPN for overhyping them.
“Nationally I’m a little bit worried that that is always becoming the thing,” Coach K said Tuesday at a press conference in midtown Manhattan in advance of the Preseason NIT this week at Madison Square Garden.
“I think part of it is that the people who show our games, show NBA, too, so they’re constant thought is cross-promoting.”
ESPN shows both NBA and college games and Coach K believes that the constant hype of his own star freshman, Jabari Parker, along with Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins,Kentucky’s Julius Randle and Arizona’s Aaron Gordon, is done to cross-promote college basketball and the NBA on The Worldwide Leader. The quartet are all projected to go among the top 5 picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.
“Yeah, and I love ESPN,” Coach K said. “I think they should do whatever they want to do. What I’m saying is we as a college basketball community should not completely buy into that.”
I’ve read about four articles on this and no where did I see anyone that wondered how Coach K would feel when his “big three freshmen” are sure to be the focus of every ESPN broadcast.
Wie all love Julius Randle, his “He Man” like attributes and especially those double doubles. But should we be worried about his turnovers?
Julius Randle has six double-doubles in his first six games, but the freshman sensation also has 22 turnovers through his first six college games.
When John Calipari was asked about Randle’s turnovers, five of which the Texan committed last night, the UK coach laughed it off.
“Pass a little bit, stop turning it over, but keep getting those double doubles, they’re really nice (laughter),” said the coach.
John Clay went and put together a chart of the most turnover prone players in the Calipari era after six games and Randle is third. I’m not that worried about it, and would hope the numbers decrease with time.
By now every member of the BBN has given their expert opinion of “what is wrong” with Kentucky on Twitter, Facebook and call in shows. Most would say it is a lack of effort and while that may be part of the problem, I do not think it is the main one. Maybe Kentucky will just struggle with smaller, quicker teams this year.
Murphy, whose team plays Kentucky on Wednesday afternoon in Rupp Arena, disagreed with the notion that the Kiddie Cats are not playing with effort.
“I think they’re playing hard,” he said before adding, “Any time you have kids playing Division I basketball, there is some form of an adjustment period and getting (comfortable) in the speed and quickness and the understanding of playing Division I basketball.
“It doesn’t seem to me they’re not playing hard. I think they’re playing hard. They’re just freshmen, and it’s going to take time for them to learn.”
Neither opposing coach in the last two games suggested his team out-hustled Kentucky. Both claimed an advantage in quickness.
Texas-Arlington’s Scott Cross said beating UK guards off the dribble was “probably the only area I thought we’d have a chance of attacking them. … The question was what were we going to do with it once we got it in there.”
UT-Arlington’s guards, especially Reger Dowell, out-quicked the Cats.
“About the only chance you’ve got is to beat them off the dribble,” Cross said, “and create shots for other guys because they’re so tall and so athletic.”