On Wednesday morning, Charles Matthews committed to Kentucky. Matthews, the #11 overall player in the Class of 2015, is Kentucky’s first commit from that class. Jeff Borzello, from CBSSports, shares what Matthews commitment means:
“Kentucky won’t have a ton of wing scoring in 2015, with 2014 recruit Devin Booker the only scorer in next year’s class. Booker will still likely be in Lexington, and he and Matthews could be a dynamite combination on the perimeter, especially when it comes to shot-making. Moreover, Matthews played with 2014 point guard Tyler Ulis on the AAU circuit; their chemistry should carry over to Kentucky. Matthews has a smooth game, and his mid-range and pull-up game separate him from other players. He has the ability to play both backcourt positions and has a variety of ways to score.”
Brian Hamilton, from Sports Illustrated, takes a look at the trend of college coaches creeping further and further on the court. In addition to the awesome .gif of Calipari pushing Andrew Harrison into position at LSU, Hamilton writes:
“Officials may not be able to monitor coaches’ movements along with those 10 players on the court, but television cameras sure can. Likewise, conferences often have observers on hand to assess the officiating. Between the videotape and a separate set of eyes, make documenting a coach’s histrionics a priority. Issue reprimands and moderate fines if necessary. If coaches aren’t self-aware enough, raise the awareness for them. It’ll make for a more pleasant experience for everyone — coaches included, whether they realize it or not.”
Thanks to Julius Randle’s basket with 3 seconds left in overtime to beat LSU, this year’s Kentucky team has its own oversized photo in the Craft Center. Kyle Tucker, from the Louisville Courier-Journal, writes the moment may be just the breakthrough this team needed:
“The moment in that picture might’ve represented a breakthrough for the 17th-ranked Wildcats (21-6, 11-3 Southeastern Conference), who finally found a way to finish off a tight game and at last displayed some genuine joy for the children’s game they play.”
Because of the success of Wichita State and St Louis this season, and the past success of Butler, Gonzaga, and George Mason, the Associated Press declares the term “mid-major” to be dead:
“RIP, “mid-major.” It was a good run.
The term that for years has derisively referred to programs residing somewhere outside the major conferences of college basketball has died. It was 37 years old.
Mid-major had been on life support for nearly a decade as schools such as George Mason, VCU, Butler and Wichita State crashed the Final Four. What had previously been the bastion of blue bloods such as North Carolina, Kentucky and Duke was thrown open to schools with tiny enrollments and modest fan bases, yet enough talent to shake the college basketball establishment.”
One of my favorite websites to check out near NCAA Tournament time is the Bracket Project’s “Bracket Matrix”. Right now, Kentucky is listed on 95 brackets (out of 95 used), with an average seed of 4.73, and generally is ranked between 3 and 6 on those 95 brackets.