January 6, 2011

Cats Are Starting To Gel

Let's get a couple items out of the way this week that need to be addressed as we enter 2011 . While there are many who are jealous or envious of Kentucky basketball their have been two thorns to UK basketball in the recent past , one for a brief two year period ( Billy "G" ) and the other on a more constant basis many times in the past , the ( NCAA ) and both need to get their just due today.

Thank you NCAA for taking the last 3 1/2 months to make sure Enes Kanter or, excuse me Papa Kanter, hasn't exploited your coveted rules that you so consistently apply across college sports. It's opened the door for a very deserving young man to make a solid contribution to UK basketball and just maybe throw them right into the thick of another deep run into March Madness.

A very special thank you to Billy Gillispie, arguably one of your most mysterious recruits Josh Harrellson just contributed in a mighty way toward providing Big Blue Nation with another special win in the Battle of the Bluegrass series and is actually slowly turning into UK's missing link in the post area.

The official count now stands at 28 W's for UK and 14 W's for U of L. That's twice as many L's for Little Brother and the majority have come since the original Dream Game in 1983.

John Calipari has to be thinking isn't it great when a plan starts coming together when so many odds are against you not to mention a few important people behind the scenes in Indianapolis and across the college coaching fraternity. With the annual Dream Game in the win column for Calipari for the second year in a row and his team gaining confidence as the sun rises each morning one could create an early argument for Calipari as a strong candidate for some Coach of the Year awards across college basketball.n

You absolutely can't question his vast coaching abilities in taking two consecutive teams with two completely different personalities and rosters and milking them both for every win possible. No way in my wildest dreams did I think UK would be basically one possession away from having only one loss as we enter SEC play. It sounds crazy to say with UK's tradition and exposure but Cal's job on the bench to date has went under the radar nationally in my eyes. Only reason I can think of is the constant talk about Enes Kanter's situation with the NCAA.

By Ira D. Combs Syndicated Columnist
Tri State Sports Media Service Inc.

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