Archive for Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dream title: KU vs. UK

May 20, 2009


A chain of events good for the quality of play in college basketball started on the final day of March when coach John Calipari left Memphis for Kentucky and concluded Tuesday when John Wall, the nation’s top recruit, committed to Kentucky.

The key event in the middle of those major happenings came when brothers Xavier and C.J. Henry, who had been looking forward to playing for Coach Cal at Memphis, committed to Kansas.

Think about it: Before Calipari changed jobs, Kansas was the smart pick for preseason No. 1, and Memphis was the fashionable pick for No. 2. Back then, the rosters Self and Calipari coached weren’t nearly as loaded as they are now.

Sure, Calipari lost the Henry brothers, but he compensated by landing Wall. Plus, had Calipari stayed at Memphis, he wasn’t going to get to coach Patrick Patterson, one of the nation’s top big men. Patterson averaged 17.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks as a sophomore at Kentucky. Scoring machine Jodie Meeks hasn’t made up his mind whether he’ll stay in the NBA Draft or return to Kentucky.

Let’s assume Meeks stays put. Just in case Kentucky, No. 1 on college basketball’s all-time victory list, and Kansas, No. 3, play for the 2010 national title April 5 in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, let’s look at the matchups.

A lot can happen in 322 days, so why start hyping the potential matchup already? Because members of both fan bases will spend a good portion of each of those 322 days fantasizing about such a title game. (For those who always wondered about the particulars of actress/Kentucky fanatic Ashley Judd’s fantasies, there you have it.) Calipari must trim the total of scholarship players from 17 (with Meeks) to 13, but we’ll leave it to him which players go the way of Tyrone Appleton and Quintrell Thomas.

Point guard: Long and blurry quick, Wall was considered by some to be the best player in the nation, the Derrick Rose of his class. Rose lost to a Kansas team in which sophomore Sherron Collins played the majority of minutes at the point. Collins is a senior now, Wall a freshman. Eric Bledsoe, a hotly recruited incoming freshman, provides depth for Kentucky. Self can turn to C.J. Henry or Elijah Johnson to relieve Collins or can shift Tyshawn Taylor over from shooting guard. Slight edge: Kansas.

Shooting guard: If Meeks comes back, Kentucky has a first-team All-American. Look for big improvement from Taylor. Big edge: Kentucky.

Small forward: Xavier Henry shapes up as KU’s first one-and-done player. Kentucky can counter with junior-college transfer Darnell Dodson. Edge: Kansas.

Power forward: Freshman Thomas Robinson, an ultra-athletic rebounding machine, will push sophomore Marcus Morris for playing time. Patterson blends the best qualities of both and has more experience. Big edge: Kentucky.

Center: Cole Aldrich defends and rebounds such large areas and steadily improves. Freshman DeMarcus Cousins is the nation’s No. 2 recruit, second only to Wall, according to Slight edge: Kansas.

The outcome: The team with the player who hits a guarded three to send it into overtime wins.


Robert Rauktis 9 years ago

This guy must be desperate to produce a column. He should stick to watching "General Hospital".

Evan Ridenour 9 years ago

Err... I would love that match up against UK for the title game because it almost ensures KU will win.

Don't forget that UK was an NIT team last year and that they have a new coach and are going to need to learn a new system. Even if Meeks returns... UK will not be getting to the Final Four, much less the title game. Experience matters.

Remember, KU was about a minute from beating the runner up last year in the Sweet 16 (and with EXPERIENCED players probably would of, cough cough) and added three 5 star players to its roster. Not only does KU have more returning, experienced talent, its recruiting class is potentially on par with UK's class.

I would expect this kind of drivel from the legion of UK idiots out there but from you...? In our own paper? Go to, your asinine comments belong over there.

KansasVoter 9 years ago

"Calipari must trim the total of scholarship players from 17 (with Meeks) to 13"

That's a pretty scummy thing for a coach to do. He should not have been able to sign any additional players over the scholarship limit.

Matt Lacey 9 years ago

On any Calipari-coached team, the word 'scholarship' is a mutable term.

jayhawkkiller 9 years ago

You jawhawk clowns are funny! Your incoming class is not even in the same ballpark as ours. Check your overall record with us, its laughable. Keep ripping Coach Cal, he has never had a violation. Didn't your own beloved coach hoghead run a couple people off this year? I guess thats different though. Face facts, best thing ever come out of your crappy state was our great coach Mr. Adolph Rupp! Nothin in kansas but tornadoes and trailer parks..........

jayhawkkiller 9 years ago

Probably Tubby Smith was the last to win in his first year coaching at a new school. Where was that at? Oh yea,UK! Nobody wanted to bring up our record against you? Just keep throwing the stones and I'll keep burning your arse up with the facts. Makes you mad doesn't it. 7 national titles, 13 final fours, and more wins than you or ANYONE ELSE!

jayhawkkiller 9 years ago

Point made! Hurry up Jr., your going to be late for middle school!

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