Please avert your eyes College Basketball is on and its BAD #CBB

badFor years it has become a ritual of mine to pick up my preseason college basketball magazines once a national champion had been crowned on the gridiron. I assumed that this year would be no different however things are very different this year. The teams who are usually contenders are now average at best and the latest crop of supposed freshman phenoms seem to be destined to be either professional benchwarmers or NBA D-leaguers at best. And the one phenom who is actually living up to the hype, Ben Simmons, may not even make it to March Madness.

It appears that many of the so-called 5 stars players pail in comparison to the crop of skal posterizedfreshman phenoms that proceeded them. There does not appear to be a Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Chris Paul, or Anthony Davis like once in a generational talent in the latest crop of freshman. Maybe we have been spoiled year in and year out and as a consequence the quality of college basketball is hemorrhaging one brick or air ball at a time.

Besides Ben Simmons at LSU, his freshman brethren have left very little to be desired. Skal Labissiere at Kentucky can not shoot and is so thin that he makes a twig look massive. The coach k and ingramDurant comparisons to Duke freshman Brandon Ingram are downright criminal. It is downright blasphemy to compare one of the greatest scorers of all-time to a reluctant freshman whose not even the top scorer on his own team. And the reigning McDonalds All-American and Jordan Ball Classic MVP Cheick Diallo is currently collecting splinters on the bench in Lawrence for Kansas.

For nearly a decade college basketball has feasted off of the hype of its phenomenal freshman. College basketball is best when the diaper dandies live up too the hype, when they don’t we are left with a dreadful year like this. Announcers sound bored out their minds, fans have been much quieter than usual, and prominent coaches have been left scratching their heads.

coaches going crazyMaybe things will get better? But if the clanks and 1-on-5 playground offensive sets continues I will have to send in my resignation as a college basketball fan. Because when the freshman are bad, college basketball is down right unwatchable. Will the Class of 2017 be any different? Stay tuned…I know I will – A. Denmark



Anthony Denmark is a writer for Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

Kentucky Wildcats, kids no more?

uk pursuit of perfectionThe expectations for the Kentucky Wildcats at the start of the season was down right absurd. After the John Calipari welcomed another top recruiting class the bitter taste of disappointment from 2013 was replaced with talks of the young guns going 40-0.

Aspirations of an undefeated season ended on opening night with a loss to Michigan State and the slide from the number one ranking to be unranked happened rather quickly. As the loses began to mount everyone began to wonder if another first round exit in the NIT Tournament was on the horizon for a second consecutive year.

With their backs against the wall and with an invite to the Big Dance no longer coach cal and julius randleconsidered a lock Coach Cal finally got the 12 McDonald’s All-Americans to ignore their sliding NBA draft stock and stop playing me ball.

The Wildcats played a remarkably in spurts throughout the season, and the nation witnessed their true potential when they handed the Wichita State Shockers their first loss of the season.

We have witnessed the Wildcats grow before our very eyes, the team with an Harrison Twinsembarrassment of riches may have finally realized their potential. Although freshmen James Young and Julius Randle are the only first round locks in the 2014 NBA Draft, the growth and maturation of the Andrew and Aaron Harrison are why the Cardiac Cats are in the Sweet Sixteen.

UK Wildcats kids no moreThe Wildcats will win or lose based on the play of their guards. When the Harrison twins struggle the Cats struggle; when the Harrison twins thrive, the Cats are darn near unbeatable. The Wildcats may not be the favorite to win and advance but if the Harrison twins repeat their success against the Louisville Cardinals (combined 28 points 3 assists) and the once undefeated Wichita State Shockers ( combined 29 points 4 assists) then the rest of the nation will realize that these Kentucky Wildcats, are kids no more. – A. Denmark (@eatdrkslpsprtz2)

Ken-YUCKY Wildcats Blues – All Hype, little substance

kentucky wildcat max playersFor the past five years the Kentucky Wildcats have been the toast of college basketball hogging all of the top talent with Lexington serving as a pit stop for one-and-done lottery bound players destined to shake the of the NBA commissioner.

The Wildcats embarrassment of riches has led to 2 Final Four appearances, 1 National Championship, 13 first round picks, and 5 franchise player. The Wildcats have produced one top recruiting class after the other, but the current 2013 class has been called the greatest recruiting class of all time, surpassing Michigan’s infamous Fab Five.

kentucky 2013 freshman classSo far this season the Wildcats have been far from fabulous, failing to live up to the fan fare of being Preseason #1. The mere utterance of an undefeated 40-0 season during the summer has been replaced with many wondering if another first round loss in the NIT awaits.

Coach John Calipari has been fortunate to uncover stars in his past recruiting classes, however, recently he has stumbled on more fools gold than gems; few stars and more players great in reputation only.

There slide from #1 has already began and not even Calipari knows when the fall willkentucky loses to robert morris stop. Although you need talent to win, the Wildcats continue to remind us that talent alone does not assure that you will make the field of 65 teams with aspirations of cutting down the nets and winning the National Championship.

A lot can happen between now and selection Sunday but if prayers of Big Blue Nation are not answered and freshman phenoms fail to live up to expectation this year may mark the end of the Calipari era and spur his return to the NBA. What will the Kentucky Wildcats do next? Stay tuned..I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

The Future: Wiggins, Parker, and Randle oh my!!

Jabari Parker Julius Randle Andrew WigginsIn sports there are certain athletes who have the ability to standout without breaking a sweat. We have witnessed it with Yusiel Puig in the MLB; Calvin Johnson Megatron in the NFL; and Johnny Football Manziel in college football. Last night in their national debut Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Julius Randle joined this elite company.

Although we have witnessed phenoms before, we have never be fortunate to see three of them on the same night on the same court. Their teams clearly have room to grow, but what is really scary is that with these stars the best is still yet to come.

Despite being a freshman Julius Bulldog Randle is clearly the leader of the Kentucky Wildcats squad. The Michigan State Spartans may have beat the Wildcats last night, if they meet again in March the outcome will likely be completely different. The Wildcats julius randle and john calipariteased everyone with their talent while also reminding us of their youth. However, as is the case with all John Calipari coached teams, their team will only go as far as the point guard takes them. Will Aaron Harrison conquer his turnover demons and run what Calipari calls? Time will tell.

Jabari Parker aka Lil Melo endless scoring arsenal will be relied upon heavily for the Duke Blue Devils. Although Coach K has a collection of former McDonald All Americans the NCAA tournament fate will be determined largely by Parker, whose team cannot afford for him to foul out. Sophomore guard Rasheed Sulaimon was able to carry the Devils for stretches but Parker is the only one who can get his on shot.

parker and wigginsAndrew Wiggins silenced doubters in his debut showcasing his jaw dropping athleticism and versatility. Despite appearing bored at times, but when the game comes so easy to do you blame him. Although Wiggins has garnered most of the attention and hype, Wayne Shelden is a best in his own right that is destined to sit in the green room with Wiggins and shake the hand of the NBA Commissioner.

Last night was truly exceptional, its not often that a 33 point scoring night by Lebron James gets buried in the back pages but the national debut of Parker, Wiggins, andjabari parker Randle was certainly an exception. One game down, the nation is watching to see what they will do for an encore? Let the tanking begin! Stay tuned… I know I will.

Bluegrass Blue Print to a Title: John Calipari’s quick fix or Rick Pitino’s steady development

Battle of the BluegrassIn the state of Kentucky college basketball beats deeply through the veins of every citizen in the blue grass state. Fans of the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals have been fortunate to witness their perspective programs return among the nations elite due Rick Pitino and John Calipari restoring the luster to two tradition rich programs. However, each coach took different routes to becoming title contenders.

Always known as a elite recruiter Calipari assembled some of top recruiting classes of all time which rivals and surpassed the infamous Fab Five from the University of Michigan. Unable to lure similar talent Pitino assembled his team by unearthing diamonds in the rough and developmental projects from other countries like Senegalese-born center Gorgui Dieng. Calipari’s Wildcats garnered more national headlines due to his rosters being loaded with charismatic players who were destined to be early NBA Draft lottery selections like John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.anthony davis michael kidd gilchrist marquis teague

Despite being second fiddle in their own state the Cardinals had the luxury of returning experience and leadership each year since no players left early for the NBA Draft. Last year both programs made it to the Final Four and the Wildcats led by freshman phenom Anthony Davis won the title.

Since Calipari took the reins the program’s success has been dictated by unproven freshmen either fulfilling their high school press clippings and failing miserably. So far the Calipari gamble has paid off but this season provided a harsh reality check as the Wildcats missed the NCAA Tournament and was eliminated in the first round of the NIT Tournament by Robert Morris.

Louisville Cardinals 2013 Big East ChampionsAs the Wildcats return to the drawing board the Cardinals find themselves back in the tournament as the number one overall seed and favorite to cut down the nets in Atlanta. Both of these prominent programs have found their own formula for success but Pitino has reminded us all, that quick fixes are great for highlights but do not assure long term success.

The Wildcats will welcome another star studded freshman class and the Cardinals will yetkentucky wildcats and louisville cardinals again not be as fortunate. The Cardinals clearly got the last laugh this year, what will happen next year. Stay tuned I know I will – A. Denmark