At this point, John Calipari has created a self-fulfilling prophecy on his Kentucky Wildcats. If the Kentucky Wildcats were not the most overanalyzed team in the country Tuesday night, they are now. And as media savvy as Calipari is, you have to think this was his master plan. Was his comments Tuesday night an attempt to turn the attention off his young team and stop the media analyzation and turn it on himself and make himself the target?
Granted if it was, it is working. No one is talking about the Harrison twins or Julius Randle. They are talking about Calipari. And if anyone can handle the media onslaught, it is Calipari. Man has a thick skin. And you know you have ESPN’s full attention when ESPN runs a poll about you.
The poll was unscientific and unsurprising. When ESPN asked its audience to identify the nation’s most overanalyzed team Thursday, the electorates of 49 states voted for the Dallas Cowboys.
Here in the Bluegrass, we know better.
No American athletes are more carefully, comprehensively and obsessively evaluated than the men’s basketball team at the University of Kentucky. No other state dissects a team in such microscopic detail or attaches more personal significance to its performances.
“This is the most overanalyzed team I’ve ever seen in the history of the game, at any level, in any sport,” UK coach John Calipari said Tuesday night at Rupp Arena. “There is a weekly update on what we are, what we’re not.”
That UK basketball ranked only fifth of five candidates after more than 385,000 votes had been cast in the ESPN poll by Thursday evening was likely a reflection of the network’s own emphasis rather than the public’s appetite for ad nauseum analysis.
That UK basketball generated only 40 percent of the votes cast by Kentuckians suggests the poll may have been skewed by a large segment of Louisville fans and/or that many UK fans are incapable of recognizing overkill where their Wildcats are concerned.
“If you’d asked the question ‘overanalyzed negatively,’ they would have voted for it,” said Oscar Combs, founder of the Cats’ Pause.