Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Eric Bledsoe: Wildcat Forever

Little video I put together the last two days strictly off YouTube rips. I just wanted to compile stuff from our dude for the people that don't follow the league on a daily basis to see Bledsoe's highlights off a surprisingly killer rookie year. We would've loved to have him back in blue and white this year next to Knight, but the kid achieved his dream and has his family in a position a million times better than it was for the first 20 years of his life.

Bledsoe and Griffin are the future for L.A. ... after Kobe wraps up this three-peat right quick, of course. Oh, and the music is the instrumental to my "Hold On" joint, composed by the masterful Steven Gilpin.

... and Free Enes.


Final 2011 Compiled Recruiting Rankings

Let's just grab Lacey, too. Please.

... and Free Enes.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Two Weeks

Here's a follow-up indie post to "Crown on the Ground" from the other day. But this time it's Donald Glover and brandUn DeShay going over a song from that band that Jay-Z went to a concert of and everyone called him fake. Otherwise known as the band that's gonna beat the Spurs in the first round.

brandUn DeShay - I'm Puttin' My Two Weeks In
Childish Gambino - B**** Look at Me Now (Two Weeks)

... and Free Enes.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 NBA Predictions: Review

I'm almost equally stupid and smart. Maybe.

I'm actually gonna hold myself accountable for my preseason predictions. I predicted not a single team perfectly, which is really weird, but I nailed seven squads within a single game of their season record. I'll take it. I super-underrated the Philadelphia JodieMeekses, the Golden State JumpShots, and the San Antonio Geriatric while super-overrating the Rockets (stupidly assuming Yao would be healthy) and Bucks. Oh well.

... and Free Enes.


Crown on the Ground

I'm not an indie rock guy. Obviously. And I kind of think this Sleigh Bells joint sucks. But oh well. When a break-off faction of the Roots plus Donald Glover jump on the beat independently, I'll get over it. Even if it's Gambino in his I am Just a Rapper phase.

Money Making Jam Boys - Crown on the Ground
Childish Gambino - New Prince (Crown on the Ground)

... and Free Enes.


The Lost Recruits: 2011

I love the heavy months of high school basketball recruiting. Having John Calipari as your head coach will make you obsessive about that kind of thing. So many kids become the most important thing a UK fan could possibly keep tabs on, only to fade from our entire conscious the second they pick the hat of another program. I wanted to bring back our old temporary dudes to give a perspective on if Coach Cal has been making the perfect recruiting pulls that we assume he's been making as our infallible grand puba. I covered the 2009 class here and the 2010 class here.

All of the given rankings are according to Rivals.

#5 (PF) Quincy Miller - Baylor
Before Anthony Davis burst into everyone's collective attention, Quincy Miller was the guard-like skilled forward who everyone was ogling over. He even crept into being the number one overall prospect at one point on Rivals, all while notoriously sporting UK gear everywhere he seemed to show up for a while. Everyone thought Miller was the third in line to join Michael Gilchrist and Marquis Teague at UK to form potentially the greatest class of all-time. Enter the aforementioned Anthony Davis as well as Kyle Wiltjer. Miller then became the odd big out. The rumblings then turned to the possibility that despite all of his unlimited potential and talent, Miller may be a little ... extra. So instead of completely overloading the talent bus with a questionable character, Cal took the safer Wiltjer commitment and moved on. This lead to a noted "death stare" that Miller gave to Calipari as he walked past him at the UK-UL football game while Miller was on a recruiting visit at Louisville. There was also complications involving Miller's coach Brian Clifton, who originally came into the UK conscious when he openly tried to steer John Wall away from Calipari to Duke. That's a double-fault, sir. You lose. Anyway ... Miller ended up spurning even UL, choosing to pair up with surprise returnee Perry Jones at Baylor next season.

#9 (SF) DeAndre Daniels - Undecided
DeAndre the Second flirted with enrolling early at UK to possibly play midseason last year. Who knows how it would've affected our team, but I would've loved the position that would've put Daniels in going towards his pseudo-sophomore season with the rest of Kentucky's monster class. But either way, DeAndre never enrolled anywhere early and has now moved on from making UK fans sweat to probably choosing between Kansas and Duke. He's a slick, super-athletic wing with a jumper who would've fit perfectly in Cal's system, but we'll see how he does elsewhere. He'll probably be one of the lasting grudges that the Big Blue Nation holds out of this class.

#23 (PF) Chane Behanan - Louisville
Here's the one recruit Pitino managed to snag in the Bluegrass battle from Cal. The local Bowling Green power forward looked like the one in-state talent who was good enough for Calipari to pick up and appease a certain branch of the fan base who want Kentucky boys to so desperately actually hit the floor. Even thought Pitino had made Behanan a major priority, it seemed like Cal was in a great position to do so, adding him to UK's already-established 2011 triumvirate. But then Calipari took a verbal from Kyle Wiltjer. Minutes gone. No one knows for sure if Cal thought Kyle was the better option or if he knew Chane was leaning elsewhere, but it happened. Behanan hasn't been shy with Wayne Blackshear to stoke the future flames of the UK-UL rivalry, so we'll see if they can actually back it up. And four years from now, we'll check back on the impact of Behanan versus Wiltjer to see the direct results of one of the few Player A-or-B recruiting decisions by Calipari.

#30 (PG) Tony Wroten - Washington
As a dominant multi-handle Twitter personality, Wroten tweeted himself onto the UK recruiting scene by teasing fans about his possible impending UK commitment. Fans checked his awesome highlights on YouTube and immediately envisioned a Wall-Bledsoe 2.0 backcourt between point guards Teague and Wroten. But as this drug on, the assumption became that Wroten was a little too loose with his words and attitude and Coach Cal preemptively backed off Wroten despite his friendship via the USA U17 team with Gilchrist and Teague. Wroten eventually chose to stay home at Washington, but not without fanning the UK flame one last time by lamenting to the Twitter universe: “@UKCoachCalipari aye coach. I just wanna know why u stopped recruiting me?” I still expect him to be a major player, but it'll be away from the spotlight in Washington. We'll see if he can stay away from trouble.

#33 (PF) Kadeem Jack - Rutgers
Once it became apparent that Kentucky wasn't going to fill out the extent of its roster for the 2010-2011 season, Calipari took a quick look at Kadeem Jack as a potential addition. After a short flirtation period, Jack spurned spots in Lexington and Chapel Hill to go to a year of prep school. I kind of wish he would've snagged Eloy's spot on the roster, but that unfortunately speaks to how Calipari had genuinely put his hope in Vargas being a contributor. Regardless, Jack reclassified to the 2011 class and picked Rutgers as his destination.

#34 (SG) Trevor Lacey - Undecided
If he doesn't commit to UK, he's immediately the most high-profile, dwelt-on miss since Jai Lucas jump-started the KSR movement. Everyone's wanted Lacey to commit for a full year now. He seems like the single missing piece to a monster recruiting class to make it the single all-time greatest. They would become the first ever legit Fab Five 2.0 with a guy at every position: Teague-Lacey-Gilchrist-Wiltjer-Davis. Lacey is a pure shooter even steps beyond the line (a la Knight and Jodie Meeks). The only reason he's not a unanimous top-15 talent is because he's somewhat limited athletically. If the going assumption is that Knight stays in the draft this summer, Calipari needs to go all-in on snagging Lacey. Since Daniels seems to be a sailed ship, Lacey is easily the top uncommitted talent left in America. One of the possible hang-ups that's been reported is Lacey's potential academic issues that may prevent him from gaining eligibility initially. Here's hoping he gets those straightened out and doesn't sign with Arkansas, Auburn, Kansas, or Connecticut.

#47 (C) Michael Chandler - UCF
Chandler de-committed from Louisville over the summer and it was quickly rumored that UK might take a major look at the big man. He was always considered an academic risk, but that hadn't previously kept Cal from getting recruits he really wanted. Some blame the Eric Bledsoe algebra situation for changing that whole angle. So Kentucky backed off of him and Chandler committed to Xavier before switching his mind quickly and heading to UCF. Chandler was once considered a top-10 prospect for the 2011 class, which originally made him a pivotal cog in UL's class, but has since fallen to the back of a loaded graduated class of big men. Hence the whole Central Florida thing.

#56 (SG) Kevin Ware - UCF
Ware was a Bruce Pearl commit who opened his recruitment back up after the annual backyard barbecue was canceled. I think that's what I read. He floated out UK as a possible destination along with Louisville and UCLA once the media swarmed to him as a newly available 2011 piece. With Lamb staying at Kentucky, the assumption is that Coach Cal never really looked in his direction all that much. Even though we were never serious with Ware, he made UK fans smirk slightly by spurning Louisville to go to Central Florida. Michael Chandler, anyone?

#92 (C) Joseph Uchebo - Undecided
Baru is from John Wall's high school, but we never got around to knowing him like C.J. Leslie because Baru committed non-dramatically to Sidney Lowe at N.C. State. But then Sidney Lowe got fired and Baru says the new coach doesn't like fancy lil' in-state talent and sent him packing. Paraphrasing. So of course Coach Cal sent a quick phone call in the direction of the kid's high school coach. This is a developing scenario.

#122 (SG) Achraf Yacoubou - Villanova
The funny-named shooter was the least known name of the immense talent that came to visit for Coach Cal's inaugural State of the Big Blue Nation speech. Weirdly enough, non-commits Harris, Leslie, and Irving all were in attendance as well ... so I guess it's safe to say that Calipari simply can't seal the deal. While it was an initial disappointment that he committed so quickly to Villanova before we even got to know him, he plummeted (un-)mightily in the rankings across the board after a less-than-stand-out senior year of high school.

Uunranked (PF) Braeden Anderson - Kansas
Anderson committed to DePaul last year and no one cared. Then he de-committed when most all of the other big men prospects were off the board and everyone cared. After seeming like an inevitable UK pick-up for awhile, it came to be known that Calipari never really went after him that hard as anything more than a last option. Hence the eventual Kansas commitment. It may have been much ado about nothing, since he's an undersized big who's not actually that talented. Unranked and all.

It's hard to even fathom wondering about players we didn't get when our class is currently the four-man juggernaut of (#2) Marquis Teague, (#3) Michael Gilchrist, (#6) Anthony Davis, and (#25) Kyle Wiltjer along with transfer (2008 3-Star) Twany Beckham. And we'll probably get one more guy. Anyways ... we'll see what happens.

... and Free Enes.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Doron's Coming Back

Waiting for Rivals' update and then this spreadsheet can go official.

I almost feel like we pulled another brand new all-star recruit since Doron didn't even test the draft this year. It's a beautiful, beautiful miracle. Add him in spotting up with those pretty blue rows on my Excel spreadsheet.

... and Free Enes.


Monday, April 18, 2011

2011 Playoff Predictions

They're two days late, but I swear these were chosen before.

1) Spurs vs. 8) Grizzlies in 7
2) Lakers vs. 7) Hornets in 6
3) Mavericks vs. 6) Blazers in 7
4) Thunder vs. 5) Nuggets in 6
4) Thunder vs. 8) Grizzlies in 6
2) Lakers vs. 6) Blazers in 6
2) Lakers vs. 4) Thunder in 6

1) Bulls vs. 8) Pacers in 5
2) Heat vs. 7) Sixers in 6
3) Celtics vs. 6) Knicks in 7
4) Magic vs. 5) Hawks in 6
1) Bulls vs. 4) Magic in 5
2) Heat vs. 3) Celtics in 7
1) Bulls vs. 3) Celtics in 6

1) Bulls vs. 1) Lakers in 7

Three-peat. Kobe.

... and Free Enes.


One-and-Done Effect on Calipari's Teams

#1 pick, a coach, #1 pick
You probably think the one-and-done thing is a really big deal that is possibly responsible for destroying college basketball.

It's not. But for this post I'll just focus on the slick-haired Italian not named Pitino who's the lightning rod for all things one-and-done.

John Calipari - Memphis (4), Kentucky (4)
(2002, #6 pick) Dajuan Wagner
(2006, #17 pick) Shawne Williams
(2008, #1 pick) Derrick Rose
(2009, #4 pick) Tyreke Evans
(2010, #1/5/18/30 picks) John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton

So Coach Cal is the evil face of this system, right? He's runs an NBA farming squad that fast forwards guys right into the pros, right? Or maybe his first year at Kentucky was simply an outlier. An anomaly. A crazy happenstance. Calipari coached nine seasons in Memphis and churned out an enormous quantity of ... four freshmen NBAers. He also happened to send one early-entry sophomore and one early-entry junior, Darius Washington and Chris Douglas-Roberts, to the professional ranks. How many pros do you think he had spend a full four seasons in college? None or maybe a single random guy, right? This one-and-done recruiter can't have possibly developed players over the extent of their college careers and put them into a positive position maybe even beyond their natural capabilities, right? Five Memphis seniors under Cal have played in the NBA. Robert Dozier, Joey Dorsey, Rodney Carney, Antonio Burks, and Earl Barron.

And what about Cal's success in post-1&Done seasons? Surely if players leaving too early is such a monumental problem then it would create a noticeable correlation to the following season's detriment. Memphis went from 27-9 NIT Champions with Dajuan Wagner to 23-7 making the NCAA Tournament in 2003. They went from the 33-4 Elite 8 with Shawne Williams to the 33-4 Elite 8 in 2007. They dropped from 38-2 losing the championship game with Derrick Rose to dropping 33-4 in the Sweet 16 in 2009. Calipari left Memphis after Tyreke Evans' single season to start over at UK, remolding a team that went straight to the Elite 8 in 2010.

Then there was the 2011 mass exodus. But I've already covered that enough.

So Calipari hasn't won a championship. If that's your end-all-be-all argument, then you win. If all of Derrick Rose, John Wall, and Demarcus Cousins came back for multiple follow-up seasons, then yes, Calipari probably would've claimed a title by now. But then again, maybe not since proceeding recruits might've looked elsewhere for more prevalent playing time. Then there are always freak injuries, chemistry problems, and situational transfers ... so ... there's no guarantee either way. Calipari has milked pretty much every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears out of his roster every year. I honestly think the only underachievement you can mark him for is his first Kentucky squad not at least making a Final Four. But even with that, you're talking about a team with a brand new coach who's starting three freshmen with a single returning contributor from the previous season. So it's strictly off talent and will that they were a favorite at all.

Bottom-line: There have been two seasons where a one-and-done departure has seriously affected a John Calipari team. 2009 without Derrick Rose and 2011 without Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, and Orton.

The 2008-2009 Memphis starting five could have hypothetically been Derrick Rose/Tyreke Evans/Antonio Anderson/Robert Dozier/Shawn Taggart ... but is that even a guaranteed championship contender in a year with Hansbrough's Tar Heels stomping the field? The 2010-2011 team would've hypothetically been an all-time juggernaut if any two of the four departures would've stayed ... but then you don't know who stays healthy or if Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones wind up here at all. And we made the Final Four as constituted. Sooo ...

Calipari's career in summary
19 years coaching [8 at UMASS, 9 at Memphis, 2 at UK]
509-152 (77%) record [193-71 (73%) at UMASS, 252-69 (79%) at Memphis, 64-12 (84%) at UK]
13 NCAA Tournaments [5 at UMASS, 6 at Memphis, 2 at UK]
9 Sweet Sixteens [3 at UMASS, 4 at Memphis, 2 at UK]
7 Elite Eights [2 at UMASS, 3 at Memphis, 2 at UK]
3 Final Fours [1 at UMASS, 1 at Memphis, 1 at UK]
1 Championship Game loss [Memphis]

... and Free Enes.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Who's That Talking in My Library?

On my Twitter, I've claimed to be on a strictly Childish-Gambino-and-Frank-Ocean music binge. True.

Frank Ocean has come out of nowhere strictly off the underground word-of-mouth passing of his supposed-to-be debut album Nostalgia,Ultra. This Odd Future-associated singer/songwriter resings/rewrites songs by Coldplay, MGMT, and the Eagles to great effect. This guy's writing is insanely stellar. I'll prolly write a post detailing the epic message of each individual track, because it's sincerely worth it. If this were an actual disk instead of a free mp3 download, I would've melted it by now.

Frank Ocean - Nostalgia,Ultra.

1. Streetfighter (Intro)
2. Strawberry Swing
3. Novacane
4. We All Try
5. Metal Gear Solid (Interlude)
6. Songs for Women
7. LoveCrimes
8. Goldeneye (Interlude)
9. There Will Be Tears
10. Swim Good
11. Dust
12. American Wedding
13. Soul Caliber (Interlude)
14. Nature Feels

... and Free Enes.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Clique Should Be Canceled

Freaks and Geeks from Donald Glover on Vimeo.

... and Free Enes.


Saturday, April 9, 2011


This is perfection. Pure, unadulterated perfection. Best collection of music I've heard since last year's VS EP by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. PERFECT, I tell you. That's why it doesn't even have a name: it can't be contained or expressed by mere words, fool.

Childish Gambino - EP

1. Be Alone
2. Freaks and Geeks
3. My Shine
4. Lights Turned On
5. Not Going Back (feat. Beldina Malaika)

... and Free Enes.


Friday, April 8, 2011

CG: Culdesac

This is where Gambino makes the turn. This post-I Am Just a Rapper mixtape is the manifestation of a monstrously talented artist who found the right way to channel his gifts. His squeak leaves his voice for the most part and he starts singing for the first time. And the boy can actually sing. For SAT purposes, Culdesac is to Donald Glover as So Far Gone is to Drake. By that, I mean they finally found their voice and produced a product infinitely better than all their previous material. Forget the whole actor/rapper/singer similarities; that's got nothing to do with it. In 2010, Gambino decided to drop all the peripheral collaborations and just go all in himself. And it worked.

Childish Gambino - Culdesac

1. Difference
2. Hero
3. I Be On That
4. Got This Money
5. So Fly
6. You Know Me
7. Let Me Dope You
8. Do Ya Like
9. I'm Alright
10. Glory
11. F*** It All
12. I'm On It
13. Put It in My Video
14. These Girls (feat. Garfunkel & Oates)
15. The Last
16. Got This Money (Acoustic at Ace Hotel)

... and Free Enes.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

CG: Poindexter

Poindexter is the second Childish Gambino tape, between the previously posted Sick Boi and I Am Just a Rapper. He's still got the nasally voice, but the general musicality of his whole sound is changed for the better. He has follow-up collaborations with MC Chris, DC Pierson (from Derrick Comedy), and Amber Petty to provide continuity from his debut.

Childish Gambino - Poindexter

1. Extraordinary
2. So Much Better
3. Phat People (feat. Billy Scafuri)
4. The Awesome (feat. MC Chris)
5. Yes
6. Hawk Jones
7. Almost There
8. Hollerin' (feat. Dean)
9. My Name Bam-B (feat. G.E.T.H.)
10. Grind
11. The Rocker
12. I'm So Focused (feat. Truff Syrum)
13. Starlight (feat. DC Pierson & Amber Petty)
14. Sunshine (feat. Dean)

... and Free Enes.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Lost Recruits: 2010

I love the heavy months of high school basketball recruiting. Having John Calipari as your head coach will make you obsessive about that kind of thing. So many kids become the most important thing a UK fan could possibly keep tabs on, only to fade from our entire conscious the second they pick the hat of another program. I wanted to bring back our old temporary dudes to give a perspective on if Coach Cal has been making the perfect recruiting pulls that we assume he's been making as our infallible grand puba. I covered the 2009 class here.

All of the given rankings are according to Rivals and all the stats are displayed as points/rebounds/assists blocks-steals with percentages given as (field goal/three-point/free throw)%.

#1 (PG) Josh Selby
NCAA - Kansas (2010-2011): 8/2/2 0-1 with (37/36/76)% at 20 MPG in 26 games
NBA - Declared for 2011 NBA Draft (#44 by Chad Ford)

A number of UK fans grieved once news got out that Selby wouldn't be joining Brandon Knight to create a second straight year of a dual point guard backcourt. Shortly after his Kansas announcement, UK fans took a sigh of relief once it was announced Selby would be suspended by the NCAA for the first nine games of the the season after receiving $4,607.58 in improper benefits by an agent that included clothes, transportation, meals, and lodging. If this would've happened to a UK recruit, it would've been widely assumed that John Calipari directly set up those expenses through that agent. Once Kansas broke past the cupcake part of its non-conference schedule, Selby's production plummeted and he essentially became a non-factor as Tyshawn Taylor's back-up. He did debut on fire, making 8 three-pointers between his first two games, but his stroke quickly wavered and his elite penetration ability never surfaced effectively against collegiate defenses. He also only totaled two games with more than four assists, so his playmaking never settled in to allow him to contribute on the court when his shot wasn't dropping. Selby has already declared his intention to leave for the NBA this summer, despite his expected fall to a late-first round pick.

Bottom-line: Great pass. It was unknown at the time, but Selby was a huge ineligibility risk. It's crazy to say that we should be glad we missed the top 2010 recruit, but we should be glad. He may have flourished given extensive minutes in Kentucky's offense, but he would've taken the ball out of Knight's hands and killed off much of what Knight did to run this ball club. Even if he were swapped out with Knight, our offense would've stagnated and been far more turnover-prone than it already was.

#4 (PG) Kyrie Irving
NCAA - Duke (2010-2011): 18/3/4 1-2 with (53/46/90)% at 28 MPG in 11 games
NBA - Declared for 2011 NBA Draft (#1 by Chad Ford)

Back when Irving spurned Kentucky and Indiana to sign with Duke, he was assumed to be in the second tier of top talent in his class. Brandon Knight was leaning towards UK at the time and was the top 2010 prize in most fans' eyes at the time, so everyone quickly got over the Irving defection. Irving pretty much universally jumped to the top of the heap as a potential world-class playmaker after his commitment. Irving proved everyone right as he was an absolute sensation from the very second he stepped on the court. He scored and got to the line with ease, never forgetting to set up his teammates along the way. The only force that could take the super-frosh down a notch was when a structural foot problem flared up, killing his toe and requiring surgery. There goes the youngster's season. Except he popped right back up at tournament time playing at near-full strength and was able to get to the rim with the exact same ease as before, netting 28 points in his possible final game as an amateur ballplayer.

Bottom-line: Situational toss-up. The problem here is the word "structural." I give the hypothetically-healthy Irving the "best freshman in the world" award, hands down. In that case, he's a huge miss for Calipari who's made his living on securing those guys. But if we travel down the road of what-ifs ... what if Irving selects UK and Knight decides he doesn't want to play off-ball, heading up to Connecticut or down to Florida? Kentucky breaks out of the gates in monstrous fashion to secure a top-5 early season ranking, but Irving's inevitable foot problem shows up less than a month in. We're sunk the rest of the season with an inadequate point-guard-by-committee line-up since we have no clear back-up. That's a disaster. If his toe was bound to be a problem, it's a miracle we passed on him. Amazing player and, by all accounts, a great kid, but we couldn't have survived signing him and not Knight.

#7 (PF) Tobias Harris
NCAA - Tennessee (2010-2011): 15/7/1 1-1 with (46/30/75)% at 29 MPG in 34 games
NBA - Declared for 2011 NBA Draft (#29 by Chad Ford)

Harris dropped Kentucky and Syracuse for Tennessee before his future Vol teammates were caught with a gun and other inappropriate things to have in a car you're driving, but stuck faithfully to his commitment. The kid was obviously a big Bruce Pearl guy and is now set to head to the NBA since Pearl got the boot from TN. Harris was one of UK fans' original big men to fawn over (along with Terrence Jones and C.J. Leslie) before he instantly became hated for picking our SEC rival. He kept a much lower profile than we're accustomed to seeing from Tennessee players off the court. And while he was highly ignored in the grand scheme of things with UK's freshman stealing all the SEC attention for the second straight year, he might've been the second-best frosh after Brandon Knight in the conference.

Bottom-line: Miss. I think Harris would've been a more consistent force in UK's system than what Jones turned into late. He was lost amidst a disorganized and troubled Tennessee squad all season, yet still managed to be one of their few bright spots as the team's second-leading scorer and rebounder. He's a hard worker who would've fit in seamlessly with any squad he chose to commit to. Plus, if he had come to UK then he might've been the type of guy who'd be more inclined to stay longer than just his freshman season. At worst, fans would've thrown less things at their TVs than Jones caused in the second half of the season.

#11 (SG) Will Barton
NCAA - Memphis (2010-2011): 12/5/3 1-2 with (43/27/70)% at 31 MPG in 35 games
NCAA - Will return to Memphis for 2011-2012

Numerous sites reported Barton as Calipari's first 2010 commitment before he'd ever even coach a game wearing a UK blue tie. Fans were relieved because we have a penchant for stressing about stuff years before it even affects us. Then Barton signed right away ... with Memphis. A year later as he was finally getting out of high school, the NCAA declared him academically ineligible. But then they cleared him before the season started. That minor crisis was averted and he took his top-10 talent and played great all year, forcing his way into the starting line-up after only a few games. His only misstep along the way was guaranteeing a championship for the Tigers in the preseason.

Bottom-line: Toss-up. It depends on what you value out of the off-guard position as to whether you'd prefer Barton or Lamb with UK's 2010-2011 squad. Barton is much more dynamic and a freak athlete, but Lamb shot nearly twice Barton's percentage from deep. Both seem set to come back for their sophomore seasons, so you can't even weigh that into the long-term debate. Do you want the benefit of the potential superstar-type slasher or the long-range stud role player who accidentally drops seven 3s one night? Though Barton was an eligibility risk at one point, he would've been a great plug-in addition to our squad.

#14 (PF) C.J. Leslie
NCAA - NC State (2010-2011): 11/7/1 1-1 with (43/25/54) at 25 MPG in 30 games
NBA - Expected to enter 2011 NBA Draft (#37 by Chad Ford)

Most UK fans assumed that John Wall's high school teammate was a shoe-in to follow his foot steps to Lexington. Little did they know that Wall helped talk Calipari off recruiting Leslie. While a number of writers questioned Cal for "losing" Leslie to N.C. State, it's pretty obvious that Cal was actually the one doing the spurning. On the basketball side of things, Leslie has limitless athletic potential and a natural NBA-type body, but his skill set itself is much less defined. He had quite a few solid scoring games this year, but was wildly inconsistent with nine games of 5 or less points. He was also suspended on the eve of his squad getting blown-out by Duke for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Bottom-line: Great pass. On the court, Leslie would've been a downgrade across the board from Terrence Jones (16/9/2 2-1). Off the court, he would've brought character issues to a team who pretty much succeeded solely on the basis of team chemistry. UK detractors would've had a field day with Leslie, but he's gone essentially unnoticed in the less-than-bright lights of N.C. State.

#16 (C) Fab Melo
NCAA - Syracuse (2010-2011): 2/2/0 1-0 with (61/0/36)% at 10 MPG in 33 games
NCAA - Expected to return to Syracuse for 2011-2012

Melo eliminated Kentucky when he cut his list down to his final four schools. It was always an outside shot of getting in close with him, but Calipari and his staff were found at quite a few of his games. He's a mammoth of a center who was pegged for U of L for quite awhile, though Jim Boeheim ended up pulling him for Syracuse. Now that I think about it, once getting a Melo commitment wouldn't result in spiting Rick Pitino, maybe Calipari simply lost interest and let Boeheim keep him. Melo also did little for the majority of the season to show his potential as a legitimate post presence, failing to even put up Daniel Orton numbers off the Orange's bench in his freshman season. He was also suspended toward the end of the regular season for missing practice.

Bottom-line: Irrelevant. Though Cal switched up his offense to allow Cousins to flourish last year, Melo isn't half as talented as Demarcus and probably would've been a rough squeeze into the dibble-drive motion offense. While he may have had a major opportunity in the wake of Enes' ineligibility and Harrellson's graduation, it seems as if UK didn't miss out on too much by not snatching Melo. He would've been a tremendous upgrade over Eloy Vargas, though, and is a player that people still believe could be an NBA prospect.

If you can think of any other 2010 guys, let me know. Even though we missed out playing the big guy, Cal's seven-man class of (#3) Enes Kanter, (#6) Brandon Knight, (#13) Terrence Jones, (#21) Doron Lamb, (#33) Stacey Poole, (#26 in 2008) Eloy Vargas, and (not ranked) Jarrod Polson proved to not be too shabby. None of the other guys I just discussed are getting sized for their Final Four rings this year. Next time I'll tackle the upcoming class of 2011 ... even though we can't even begin to evaluate them yet. Ha. Oh well.

... and Free Enes.


CG: Sick Boi

Stupid me didn't realize the correct chronology of Childish Gambino's releases. That's what ya get when you don't look at Wikipedia before posting any piece of information ever. Oh well. I'll improperly post Donald's debut mixtape Sick Boi now ... after already posting his third and fourth ones. You'll notice on these songs that his voice is super nasally and he relies on punchlines way less while the beats are more naturally hip hop than the indie rock music that he favors in his later music. Either way, it's all about building up to being one of the most promising emcees around in the year 2011. But you gotta develop from 2008 (this tape's release year) to get to that point.

Childish Gambino - Sick Boi

1. Easy (Intro)
2. Fire
3. I'm a Winner (feat. Amber Petty)
4. Tru Dudes (feat. MC Chris)
5. Red Alert
6. Love is Crazy (feat. Eugene Cordero)
7. My Hoodie (feat. Chaz Kangas)
8. Fresh
9. Til I Die
10. So Sick Wit It
11. Assassins (feat. DC Pierson & Nick Packard)
12. Baby Doll

... and Free Enes.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

CG: I Am Just a Rapper 2

Day 2 of the CG Experience. Honestly, these aren't the best introduction to Donald's music because he's gotten infinitely better, but it still puts his ability in perspective once you listen to his whole collective. Once you reach EP ... it's completely over. On the two Just a Rapper collections, Gambino's the high-pitched voice and relies nearly exclusively on punchlines every single bar. The parentheses for each track represents the indie track he's rapping over.

Childish Gambino - I Am Just a Rapper 2

1. The Real (Infinity Guitars)
2. Get It (Tightrope)
3. Different (Feel It All Around feat. DC Pierson)
4. What the F*** Are You? (Colouring of Pigeons)
5. Both Hands (Black Rainbow)
6. For the Fans (Warm Heart of Africa)
7. Nowhere to Go (Disaster Babe)
8. What the F*** Are You? (Exhibit C Remix)

... and Free Enes.


Cal's First Two Years (in a Graph)

Interpret how you like.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Best Songs of '10

Super late. Yeah, I know.

Beyonce's super annoying "Single Ladies" joint may have won the Grammy for best song of 2010, but my Top 10 list goes in a little different direction. We'll back away from pop bull crap and focus on the records that meant something without overused claps on every single 8th note. No offense Mrs. Hov. I take that back: much offense intended. Now stop reading my blog, Beyonce, and get back to making crappy music that's forcibly inserted into 45% of all radio transmissions every year. Moving on ...

10. "Erase Me" - KiD CuDi featuring Kanye West
9. "Light Up" - Drake featuring Jay-Z
8. "The Train, Pt. 2 (Sir Lucious Left Foot Saves The Day)" - Big Boi featuring Sam Chris
7. "25 to Life" - Eminem
6. "I'll Kill Her" - Cee-Lo featuring Soko
5. "Hustle Blood" - Big Boi featuring Jamie Foxx
4. "Choices (A Wave for Alex)" - Charles Hamilton
3. "Find Your Love" - Drake
2. "Lost in the World" - Kanye West featuring Bon Iver
1. "Blame Game" Kanye West featuring John Legend & Chris Rock

I know it features pretty much no parity when Kanye, Big Boi, and Drake represent 60% of the list, but I'm just being honest. These songs are the most epic joints I listened to last year and begged for that replay button. Ye forced me to replace his own damn song as the single best joint once "Blame Game" was the final Dark Fantasy track to leak. Somebody on Twitter that night said the song demanded an "Album of the Year" Grammy by itself. I agree.

... and Free Enes.


CG: I Am Just a Rapper

So my new favorite rapper in the world is Childish Gambino. I only gave the stuff a listen because Community is the greatest show on television today and Donald Glover is a genius. Turns out it was a great choice. I'm gonna throw up one of his mixtapes every day until I run out of his material. All of this is in anticipation of IAMDONALD. Can't frickin' wait.

Childish Gambino - I Am Just a Rapper

1. New Prince (Crown on the Ground)
2. B**** Look at Me Now (Two Weeks)
3. 49ers (Orange Shirt feat. DC Pierson)
4. My Girls (My Girls)
5. I Can Hear Your Feet (Sunrise)
6. The Truth (Goth Star feat. DC Pierson)
7. I Love Clothes (Deadbeat Summer)

... and Free Enes.