There is a lot to like about future Kentucky Wildcat Karl Towns Jr. One of those is that he totally eschewed the AAU circuit this summer to focus on just being himself and a high school kid. The other is determination and his drive. Last year, Town cam short of winning the New Jersey Tournament of Champions and winning that this year is his goal for this year.
As for goal No. 2?
That has to do with his freshman season next year at Kentucky, where there could be a crowded frontcourt.
“I don’t worry about playing time at all next year,” Towns said. “I just worry about winning a National Championship. My only focus for next year is winning a title at Kentucky. Nothing else matters.”
Towns is part of a four-man class headed to Kentucky that includes point guard Tyler Ulis, shooting guard Devin Booker and power forward Trey Lyles. Booker went off for 41 points Friday night during his Senior Night at Moss Point (MS).
All four were named to the McDonald’s All-American Game set for April 2 in Chicago.
“It’s just another dominating class for Kentucky and the McDonald’s committee proved it,” Towns said.
As for him making the game, Towns added: “Being able to participate in the McDonald’s All-American game is a tremendous honor. I’m so glad that I was selected and can’t wait to go out there. I’ve looked at the rosters, but I’m just really happy to be out there.”
Towns and the other three Kentucky pledges remain in touch via texts and social media.
“We all stay in constant touch with each other,” he said. “We make sure that we chat with each other every week because we want to make sure that we have good chemistry.”
If the Wildcats can kick into that extra level and make a deep run into the NCAA Tournament, some of the competition for him may be gone. But if this year falls short and the 2015 class merges with the Harrison Twins, Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, and Willie Cauley – Stein … that goal seems a lot more attainable.
Besides the constant “Will they go to the NBA” game Kentucky fans and media play, we now have a new game: Let’s over-analyze the Cats. And the fine folks at the Kentucky Kernel say that Kentucky is not a great team and thusly deserves to be analyzed.
And Calipari continued to play some zone defense. With a team that has so much length and struggles in on-ball defense, the zone could become a major advantage with more repetitions.
The result was a ho-hum win, one that neither added nor subtracted confidence in the overall scheme of the Cats’ yearlong progression. It was a road victory, however, and those should never be taken for granted.
If Calipari wants his team to be overanalyzed, he’ll get his wish as long as UK continues its inconsistent play. His hope is that it will fuel an “us vs. them” mentality from the Cats.
But that doesn’t always work. If UK begins to click on all cylinders, then the opinion of those outside the program may change.
Calipari’s statement may have been hyperbole, but the Cats bring any excessive analysis onto themselves.
I would pretty much say the only thing I agree with in the entire article is that Kentucky’s transition defense HAS TO approve, but there was not a lot to nit pick about against Mississippi State. Yes, the team shot poorly and yes, they played in constant foul trouble. That is going to happen in the course of the season a few times.
Yet, Kentucky WON despite that by 10 points on the road with Jarrod Polson and Jon Hood having to play major minutes. Keep in mind that Florida won at Mississippi State by 11 points just a couple of weeks ago. So while the win was not overly impressive, that is what happens when you travel in conference play. Last year’s team would have lost so maybe the nitpicking is getting a bit excessive. Let’s analyze that.
If you are up for further analyzation of Kentucky basketball, consider the fact that Syracuse will supplant Kentucky as the college basketball attendance leader this year. Kentucky has held the honor for eight straight years and 17 of the last 18, but Syracuse has an edge of more than 3000 fans a game.
Never mind the fact that Syracuse is the number one team in the nation and has moved into a new conference with several attractive matchups. And the Rupp home schedule has not been that great. Jerry Tipton does some digging, some ciphering, and some analyzing and figures that Kentucky basketball may be cooking some attendance numbers.
Open records obtained by the Herald-Leader indicate about a 20-percent markup in attendance figures so far this season. That is to say, Lexington Center Corp. counts the ticket holders admitted into Rupp Arena, then UK announces an official attendance that is about 20 percent larger. UK’s average announced attendance for home games this season is 22,662. The average number of ticket holders in Rupp Arena has been 18,110.
DeWayne Peevy, deputy director of athletics, acknowledged that determining an announced attendance is “kind of an imperfect science.”
Here’s how the discrepancy happens:
Lexington Center Corp. workers scan the tickets of fans who enter Rupp Arena. The number of ticketed fans in seats so far this season exceeded 20,000 for only three games: Belmont (20,480), Louisville (22,699) and Tennessee (20,842).
Lexington Center Corp. uses that number, in part, to help determine how many concession workers and other employees to assign to future games, said Bill Owen, the CEO and president of LCC.
That “scan number” is given to UK officials during a game. To arrive at an announced attendance figure, UK then factors the total number of tickets sold, whether or not the ticket holder is actually there. Then, UK basically adds anyone else drawing a breath in Rupp Arena: media types, band members, cheerleaders, dance team members, referees, security, players, coaches, concession workers, LCC employees and Committee of 101 ushers. No announced attendance has been less than 20,000 so far this season.