Thursday, March 13, 2014

UK Basketball

Sometimes making it to the top just means you have a longer way to fall. UK basketball fans are learning that the hard way this year, as the Wildcats have become the first team ever to fall completely out of the Top 25 after being ranked number one in the preseason. For me, there’s no question who to blame: Coach Calipari.

I know, I know. I sound like a spoiled brat complaining about a Coach who brought us a national championship only two years ago. But every time I watch the team this year, they make mistakes that a good coach would never allow. They don’t share the ball, they turn the ball over, and they are lazy on defense. They are lucky that the SEC is so weak this year, or else they would be in real danger of missing the tournament.

There’s no question that Calipari is an expert recruiter, perhaps the best in college basketball. (He’s so good that I wonder if he bends the rules a bit.) But his weaknesses as an in-game coach and motivator are more evident this year than ever. Even in an NCAA where the best players all bolt for the NCAA after one year, coaches need to be more than just salesmen and recruiters. They can’t forget to actually coach!

Now Calipari is claiming that he made some “tweak” to the offense that will change everything. I’ll believe it when I see it. Watching UK basketball this year has reminded me of that age old lesson: don’t believe the hype.