Apocalypse Now!: The death of Platoon.
Full Metal Jacket. And I guess, technically, Forrest Gump too.
So with that out of the way, is it safe to say that the platoon thing blew up in Squidward’s face? My biggest fear coming into this season that my long held belief that it was virtually impossible to play an undefeated season in the 40 game world of college hoops would be shattered by a new era of single school dominance to rival John Wooden’s, anchored not in having transcendent talents with no other options than to play college ball for 4 years at a time, but by crews of top 10 talents willing to eschew franchise level pt in exchange for 20 minutes of fame per game, and a cakewalk to the title each year.
But this post season, UK missed on every top recruit left on the board. This could be coincidence, just poor timing with all the UK departs (of which at least 3 shouldn’t be happening). Alternately, it could be the case that 20 minutes of pt isn’t enough for the modern blue chip. I know it was a factor in both Zimmerman’s and Diallo’s commitments to non-UK schools. Ivan Rabb was also notably underwhelmed with UK, being more excited about Halloween than Big BM (phrased for emphasis).
Regardless, I’m not at all upset with Brown’s decision (though I was totally caught off guard). With so many top recruits dispersed to so many schools, it’s unlikely they’ll be a dominant group of teams. More a 2010 or 2011 style year than a 2012 or 2013 where the title favorites were obvious from the get go. Most importantly, we got ours. Diallo and Bragg give us exactly what Self’s offense was missing: rim protection and more scoring at the 4. I’d still like to get Tevin Mack, but I won’t be surprised if he follows Smart. That JuCo shooting guard we were in contact with would also be a fine addition. Just a depth add, but a guy who can get minutes in Korea or if it takes time for Greene to get back into the groove. Overall, next year is shaping up just fine in my eyes.
I was bit taken back that UK didn’t corner the market in recruiting again this year, however not shocked. I’ve become a firm believer that the shoe companies and so on have a vested interest where these kids go. Oh it’s all legal like, no NCAA investigations here or there…
Me personally I feel Coach Cal cost himself big time in the eyes of his benefactors. One he has been given a stacked deck or team more than once and couldn’t deliver and two he has an arrogance that rubs people the wrong way, especially seeing how he cant’ back it up or deliver. Some of the things I’ve read on UK and coach Cal makes me wander if the ride is over. Former UK players and fans are tired of Cal’s team failing because of the basic’s of how to play the game of basketball. Which is basic coaching.
It seems Nike maybe changing their business model when it comes to the college game. Nike found out this last year all fans except those rooting for UK thought UK was a joke with all the talent they had. They felt it was stacked deck, an unfair advantage for UK which was a Nike school. The powers to be at Nike are no dummies. They realized this was bad for business. How many fans jumped and danced when the Badgers buried UK in the final 4? I bet the numbers swooned to out of this world comprehension for those at Nike. Nike likely ran the numbers and asked the question if Fans where willing to not only root for but celebrate a Badger win how many would be willing to turn against their very product because of the unfair advantage.
Maybe I’m just spinning a conspiracy theory here, but you have to admit it does seem plausible. Especially after this year of recruiting. As you said the top talent seems to be spread out quite a bit.
@DoubleDD Interesting angle… I like where your going w it. Big time corporations think, think and re-think the multitude of variables out there. And you bring up a good point that, they would have to consider.
Headline next March: “Stetson upsets Kentucky in 1st round of NIT”
Kentucky hit the perfect storm this year. Perfect storm to taint their Calipari-style approach to basketball.
Kentucky takes an undefeated season into post play and makes it to the Final Four.
How many Kentucky fans believed they were going on to the perfect season? After all, Calipari has been talking about “reaching for perfection” for years now. He had the mass herd of Wildcat fanatics totally on board with his concept. This is the same concept he sold his team and the recruits considering Kentucky.
101% of Kentucky fans thought they were headed to “perfection.”
Here comes Wisconsin. A team clearly less skilled… however… a team that carried a chip on their shoulders for Kentucky for an entire year. You can bet several of their players had made a Kentucky Wildcat dartboard to hang in the team locker room. A year is a long time to carry a chip. It gives guys time to think about how they lost their nightmare game and how they are going to win their heavenly game to come. Wisconsin was the only team all year that really WANTED Kentucky. And though 101% of the Kentucky fans knew they were going to win, 200% of the Wisconsin team knew they were going to beat Kentucky.
The Kentucky players were blindsided in that game. Talk about deer in the headlights… They had been brainwashed all year into the Calipari fairytale of perfection. And what is the REAL difference between this Kentucky team and Bobby Knight’s “PERFECT” team? Bobby Knight sold hard word, discipline, focus and a team concept. Not a friggin’ fairytale about perfection. You would never hear Bobby Knight talk about such a stupid and unrealistic concept in basketball. The mention of the word shows how unrealistic someone is. An undefeated season does not spell P E R F E C T I O N in anything.
Consequently… this long-winded story does have an ending. Remember those 101% Kentucky fans? The fans caught up in the fairytale concept of Calipari’s “perfection?” In that same lost mentality they began throwing the world under the bus. Fans became extremely nasty. Ask people who went to the Final Four. I recently met a nice Wisconsin fan who attended and she was shocked by the attitude of Kentucky fans, describing them as the same as Alabama football fans. Obnoxious. So… their obnoxious behavior was suddenly center stage with nothing hiding it any longer. What recruit wants to play for a program with unreal God-like expectations and an obnoxious fan base? Loathing in the toxicity created by abundance.
Gosh… look at how unrealistic Calipari was in this Wisconsin game (read the link). Even had they won that game, is that attitude something that belongs in the same sentence as “perfection?” Calipari was delusional and couldn’t see how they could lose, even as Wisconsin went on that final 6-minute run. That is delusion and it helped freeze Kentucky into not reacting because they were never the perfect team.
““When we were up four with five minutes to go, I thought it was over. Even when Wisconsin made that run, I thought we’d figure it out,” John Calipari said Friday night.”
I’m wondering if many of these OAD players are finally catching on that playing at Kentucky means playing for a delusional coach, and their single season of college basketball will be played in a delusional environment, in a total unhealthy concept of everything, not really the right kind of prep leading into the NBA?
We all need to do our part by never letting the basketball world forget the story of “Calipari’s march for perfection.” It’s a story about delusion, nothing more.
@drgnslayr Im not sure that many of those athletes recruited by Cal have the necessary capabilities of higher thought, giving them the ability to realize delusional thinking when they see it. I mean, those kids are not being recruited by MIT or Brown or Yale to play ball there.
Spot on… but might even the simple-minded recruit be wising up to Calipari’s delusions?
In the very least… it seems many are starting to think, “why trade my valuable college PT minutes at a school only giving me half games and not even guaranteeing me a National Championship?” Even HS recruits will surely look at player stats from various schools to get an idea of what they might do there. Nothing really sticks out on the stat line of all those AAs at Kentucky this past year.
Kentucky’s failure this year is about as stark as it gets. They can’t really say that future years will give them a much higher talent advantage from the rest of D1 (over the advantage they had this year, even with seasoned top tier talent)… so they can’t promise “perfection” moving forward. This past Kentucky team and fan base was basically promised “perfection.”