Monday’s BasketBALLS: Cal’s Cats & B-Ball’s Bad Boy


Before I get to UK, these short observations.

I only saw the highlights of the Ole Miss/ Oregon game. I meant to surf about to see if it was showing somewhere — TV or internet — but got snowed watching the Lions, Eagles and other NFLers frolicking in the white.

Anyway, whipping boy Marshall Henderson bulls eyed 10 treys in 23 attempts off the bench for the Johnny Rebs. He was 1/4 inside the arc. Jarvis Summers was his only other teammate with double digit FG attempts.

So, on offense, he continues to roam the periphery. Yesterday with sniper-like accuracy.

The visiting Quack weren’t so bad themselves, draining 11/18 long balls. And, most important, they won the game in OT, 115-105.

I mention the tilt for two reasons:

1) Oregon appears a legit Final Four contender again. Remember when Dana Altman traveled over from Creighton, and the punditocracy wondered whether he could cut it at Phil Knight U.? Well, he’s doing more than just fine, thank you.

The run and gun Ducks are a team to watch.

2) Henderson is still on probation, if not literally, at least in the minds of those who revere college hoops. He’s kept his “exuberance” in check so far, at least the best I can tell. If that continues, he’s as fun to watch as any player in the college game. And, I’ll have to get off his back.

* * * * *

Due to a quirk in my personal slumber habits,1 so I watched the game in its entirety.

There was an eery feel to it, with all those empty seats in the JerryDome. It was quiet. Had a scrimmage aura to it.

To me, this is the most fascinating of John Calipari’s Wildcat squads. Athletically and offensively, this is a stunning, übertalented bunch of ballers.

It is obvious that they have a long way to go, before they’re as strong a force as they can be on defense. And before they meld as a team.

They appear a peevish bunch. For backcourt guys, supposed to get the offense in motion, the Harrisons have the worst on court body language and disposition since the early days of Bobby Hurley. When Julius Randle doesn’t get the ball, his demeanor neon signs his displeasure.

The Wildcats were a passionless bunch in Big D. The weather and the late start because of the boffo women’s game are only somewhat reasonable excuses. Baylor endured the same hassles.

I’ve said before, and I stand by it, that Kentucky is the one team with the talent to separate itself at the top this college hoops season.

It’s going to be fascinating to watch whether they do so. Can Coach Cal’s alchemy work? Will these young, previously pampered stars mature and play as a team?

That’s why they play the games and we get to watch.

— Seedy K

4 thoughts on “Monday’s BasketBALLS: Cal’s Cats & B-Ball’s Bad Boy

  1. (1) You still love your Cayuts;
    (2) Eminem is fun to watch but if he is your bell cow, you will soon be out of milk;
    (3) Oregon is still without its best player, but as much as I admired their play in last years NCAA, I doubt that their style will permit them to win 4 NCAA tourney games, much less 6;
    (4)NFL games in the snow breaks-up the monotony of a 16 game regular season plus 4 useless exhibitions–so, for once, it was fun to watch;
    (5) About your Cayuts—you may be right about them separating themselves from the pack—if, and only if, they would stay around for more than a semester or so. I doubt that you will find that this will happen this year; and with the guard play they have exhibited thus far, unless they learn to play zone or some other defense to protect their speed deficient guards, they will fall quickly in the tourney unless they get the right matchups against teams with similar issues; and
    (5) You still love your Cayuts.

  2. UK, KU both loaded with youthful talent, both just need to see what evolves as their prized young recruits either showcase their wares or care about their respective teams. The Cats may be slow at the perimeter (with the exception of the kid from in-state) but with their backline length and shot blocking ability that oughtn’t hamper them too much, if the “twins” will find merit in actually pressuring the ball and passing lanes and dare penetration. They aren’t going to play too many squads with Baylor type length for the rest of the year.

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